STOP FUNDING FOSSILS

Our Stop Funding Fossils program uses critical analysis and strategic organizing to end the vast quantities of government support flowing to the fossil fuel industry and accelerate the clean energy transition.
Public finance and subsidies for fossil fuels play a key role in driving oil, gas, and coal production. Climate leadership means not wasting another cent of public money on the industries that are causing the problem.

OVERVIEW OF WORK

Our research shows that G20 governments spend $444 billion per year propping up oil, gas, and coal production, while the G20’s taxpayer-backed public finance institutions provide nearly 4 times more public finance to fossil fuels than to clean, renewable energy.

These massive subsidies play a key role in expanding oil and gas production and locking in existing fossil fuels: recent analysis finds that half of the new oil fields being drilled in the US would have remained undrilled if not for substantial subsidies; at the same time, public finance for fossil fuels de-risks capital-intensive megaprojects, like massive coal plants in Southeast Asia, few of which would proceed without government backing. And as oil, gas, and coal producers face increasing competition from renewable energy, instead of simply reducing fossil fuel production, they exert their political influence to get more handouts to keep extracting.

Instead of spending scarce public resources on the fossil fuel industry, our work challenges public institutions to scale up their support for distributed renewable energy solutions that can deliver energy access quickly and at least cost in many developing countries: today, support for these solutions makes up only a tiny fraction of all public finance for energy.

We know from the work of our Energy Transitions and Futures program that already-producing oilfields, gasfields, and coal mines hold enough carbon to take the world well beyond 1.5°C of warming and up to 2°C. This means that governments who’ve signed up to the Paris Agreement (that’s nearly everybody) shouldn’t spend another cent of public money on fossil fuels if they take their commitment seriously. We call on them to stop funding fossils.

LATEST PROGRAM POSTS

Tackling climate change and other environmental hazards is affordable but urgent action is needed to avert irreversible damage, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said yesterday.

The 30-nation OECD said possible environmental safeguards might slow world growth by just 0.03 percent a year -- meaning that by 2030 the global economy would be 97 percent bigger than in 2005 instead of almost 99 percent larger with no measures.

Interesting op-ed from a Silicon Valley newspaper by the CEO of Akeena Solar, which calls itself America’s leading solar installer.
The CEO, Barry Cinnamon, argues “This week the House of Representatives will vote on the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008. This act would eliminate $18 billion in tax breaks for oil companies to help pay for extending renewable energy tax credits. If the House approves, we'll see if Senate Republicans can vote for good energy and environmental policy - or just vote for Big Oil again.”

Global coalition calls for an end to ‘oil aid’

October 19, 2007, Washington, DC. – More than 200 organisations from 56 countries are calling on the World Bank and other international financial institutions to end subsidies to the oil industry. In a statement released today, the groups refer to ‘oil aid’ as one of the most glaring barriers to fighting climate change and addressing energy access in developing countries.

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives wants to spend almost $7bn in the coming year to reduce the nation's enormous carbon footprint, reports the Independent. This has put it on a collision course with the White House, which still remains in denial about climate change.

A major clash is expected between the White House and Congress in the autumn, with President George Bush sceptical of the Democrats' newfound enthusiasm for the environment. The best way to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil is to drill for more, he believes.

LATEST PROGRAM RESEARCH

The time has come for ambitious E3F action, not just ambitious words. We do not want to see a year of vague compromises and exceptions that water the commitment down and lead to continued support for fossil fuels, such as gas - as this not only puts the climate at risks, it also locks countries in the south into fossil dependence with all the economic risks that come along.