27 AUGUST 2014

Stephen Kretzmann, steve [at] priceofoil [dot] org
Shakuntala Makhijani, shakuntala [at] priceofoil [dot] org


New Report: Richest Countries Spending Billions to Expand Unburnable Carbon Stock
Despite calls from scientists, publicly funded expansion of fossil fuel reserves continues

A new report released today by Oil Change International outlines billions of dollars of annual subsidies from the seven richest countries in the world to expand fossil fuel reserves, despite repeated commitments from those same countries to phase them out.

The survey, entitled Subsidizing Unburnable Carbon: Taxpayer Supprt for Fossil Fuel Exploration in G7 Nations, finds that the G7 continues to spend at least $8 billion USD annually on ‘national subsidies’ for the expansion of oil, gas, and coal reserves through direct subsidies and an additio nal $10 billion USD or more annually on ‘public financing’ from government banks and institutions for fossil fuels as well.

The report can be found here:

“The richest countries in the world have a responsibility to lead the charge on climate solutions, yet they continue to fund the climate crisis with billions in public money each year. Science is telling us we already have four times more fossil fuels than we can afford to burn, yet these subsidies are using taxpayer dollars to increase our exposure to the climate crisis, “ said Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International.

Among other notable findings, the study shows that the United States government alone provides $5.1 billion in national subsidies to fossil fuel exploration each year. Additionally, the report shows that the United Kingdom has introduced new subsidies incentivising the exploration of fossil fuels in recent years, despite commitments to the contrary.

“Given that the world already has significantly more fossil fuel reserves than it can afford to burn, it makes no sense to use public funds to incentivize prospecting for more unburnable carbon,” said Shakuntala Makhijani, Researcher at Oil Change International and author of the report. “It’s time our governments stop using our money to buy the shovels that are digging our climate hole even deeper.”

For more information on fossil fuel subsidies, see the Oil Change International fossil fuel subsidies resource page here:




  • The Burning Age is over. No more fuels (including biofuels), no more burning (including biomass burning). It’s time to urgently usher in the golden age of perpetual energy technologies — which are safer, cleaner, healthier, more equitable and more peaceful.

    So *of course* governments and corporations are dragging their feet while still paying subsidies with MY money and YOUR money to fossil fuel corporations. They’re so poor, you know. So poor, with no profits. They just couldn’t survive without our money.

    Is there not a caring soul within any of these governments? Not a single leader who has the guts to shout “Stop the insanity!”?

    Imagine what would happen if the $1.9 trillion in annual subsidies (IMF, 2013) was switched to perpetual energy technologies — you know, to give them the same leg-up that fossil fuel corps have been receiving for the last century.

    If governments stopped subsidizing fossil fuels and instead started backing the zero-carbon alternatives, we would actually have a hope in hell of achieving a <1.5º, zero-carbon, viable and survivable future.

  • Global Climate Change is a threat to human life on earth. Delaying action — or even worse, increasing our consumption of fossil fuels — will lead to disaster. We are already beginning to see some of the consequences of our folly.

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