In response to the statement in the G20 Leaders’ Communique on the “commitment to rationalise and phase-out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption,” Oil Change International has released the following statement from Executive Director Stephen Kretzmann:

“Today, G20 leaders reiterated their same tired commitment to end fossil fuel subsidies, for the sixth year in a row. It’s starting to ring hollow, with new research exposing $452 billion in subsidies each year to support the production of polluting fossil fuels.

A groundswell of public pressure is building on G20 leaders to keep their promise to end fossil fuel subsidies. This weekend, people took action on every continent to call on G20 leaders to Stop Funding Fossils, using Twitter to reach more than 7 million people.

The urgency of climate change dictates that G20 governments must put an immediate end to handouts that support exploration for new reserves of fossil fuels, and subsidies that prop up the dirty and dying coal industry.

We must urgently transition away from fossil fuels, and it’s disappointing to see that G20 leaders and this year’s G20 host, Turkey, didn’t get the memo. Given the urgency of climate change, it’s imperative that next year, G20 leaders commit to phasing out all fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.”


Further background:

  • The 2015 G20 Leaders’ Communique contains language on the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies that’s similar to commitments made each year since 2009.
  • This weekend, people supporting the StopFundingFossils campaign sent more than 15,000 emails and tweets calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies. A video highlighting the scale of the problem has already been viewed more than 130,000 times.
  • Empty Promises,” a report launched last week by Oil Change International and the Overseas Development Institute, found that subsidies from G20 government to fossil fuel production alone (not including consumption subsidies) averaged $452 billion annually between 2013 and 2014.
  • OECD countries will meet just after the G20 meetings in Turkey to take a decision on limits to public funding for coal, a key bellwether for rich countries committing to climate action before December climate talks in Paris.
  • In September, China and the US agreed that putting a concrete deadline on the removal of fossil fuel subsidies would be a shared priority during China’s G20 presidency in 2016.