A group of 40 German NGOs called on G8 Environment Ministers today to phase out fossil fuel subsidies at home and use their influence to steer the World Bank away from fossil fuels and towards a new energy revolution.

A long list of German organizations, including the German NGO Forum on Environment and Development, Oxfam Germany, WWF, Bund, Care, Urgewald, Misereor, Greenpeace, Church Development Service (EED), WEED, GermanWatch, and many more, presented these recommendations in a joint G8 policy paper to the G8 Environment Ministerial in Potsdam.The policy paper outlines NGO concerns related to climate change, energy, raw materials, biodiversity, trade, intellectual property, aid to Africa, and debt cancellation in the run-up to the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm this June.


Among many other things, the policy paper calls on all G8 States to phase out fossil fuel subsidies at home by steering their “subsidies in the energy sector, which have been estimated at 240 billion US dollars a year, towards renewable energies and increasing energy efficiency.”

The paper expresses concern about the world’s dependence on oil and the economic vulnerability that this implies for many impoverished countries. It argues that: “Most of the developing countries are dependent on importing crude oil. The costs of oil bills are threatening to nullify any progress made in development. These countries urgently require a new energy policy perspective, which is first and foremost offered by renewable energies.”

The 40 German organizations that released the paper argue that development assistance to the energy sector is taking the world in the wrong direction: “instead of promoting the development of local, renewable energy sources in developing countries, international donors such as the World Bank, on which the G8 States exert considerable influence, are above all financing the further development of fossil fuel sources. Renewable energies only play a minor role.”

And they call on the G8 States to “use their influence to steer the entire energy portfolio of the World Bank and other international institutions towards local, renewable energies and increasing energy efficiency.”

The policy paper is entitled: Testing the credibility of the powerful: Concrete Action for Environment and Development: Policy Paper of International Non-Governmental Organisations for the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, 6th-8th June. For a copy of the Policy Paper write to Mona (mona@forumue.de ) at the German NGO Forum on Environment and Development (or ask me at graham@priceofoil.org).