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

A top Interior Department official was told nearly three years ago about a legal blunder that allowed oil companies to avoid billions of dollars in payments for oil and gas pumped from publicly owned waters in the US.
According to the New York Times a report by the department’s chief independent investigator, suggests that Interior officials could have fixed the mistake far more easily if they had taken action when they first recognized it.

Apparently there are no lengths to which Bush Administration officials will not go in defense of Big Oil. According to Congressional Quarterly, the Interior Department's Inspector General will shortly issue a report revealing that Department officials, after learning in 2000 of mistakes in leases that could cost the American people $10 billion, proceeded to cover it up. And apparently Minerals Management Service Director Johnnie Burton lied to Congress about it last year. Ooops.

Great article in the New York Times about the malaise of Washington’s over sight of the oil industry and how it has taken a retired federal auditor to expose the comfy collusion between the industry and its regulators.

For years Bobby Maxwell scrutinized the books of major oil producers that pumped billions of dollars worth of oil and gas from land and waters owned by the American public. Along the way, the auditors recovered hundreds of millions of dollars from companies that short-changed the government on royalties.

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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.