July 1, 2016

Alex Doukas, alex [at] priceofoil [dot] org
David Turnbull, david [at] priceofoil [dot] org

G20 leaders must act after energy ministers fail to agree an end date for fossil fuel subsidies

After meeting in Beijing, G20 Energy Ministers released a communique that failed to establish a deadline for the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, a commitment that was first made by G20 leaders in Pittsburgh in 2009. In response, Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director at Oil Change International, released the following statement:

“G20 countries talked big in Paris about their commitment to fighting climate change, but when it comes to the basic task of stopping public support for climate-changing fossil fuels, they can’t seem to take the first steps – much less walk the walk. Earlier this week, more than 200 civil society groups, representing almost all G20 countries, called on G20 energy ministers to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.

“The world is in a deep hole with climate change, and the first thing to do when you’re in a hole is to stop digging. If world leaders want to show that they’re committed to the kind of bold climate action they agreed to in Paris, the least they can do is commit to ending fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.

“China, the current G20 President, said last year that securing a deadline on the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies would be a priority during its presidency. China’s leadership will be needed if G20 members are to agree a deadline to finally end fossil fuel subsidies at the Leaders’ Summit in September.”

In November of last year, Oil Change International published analysis with the Overseas Development Institute, detailing for the first time the $444 billion dollars of annual G20 government support to the production of fossil fuels. See that analysis here: