July 8, 2017


Alex Doukas, alex [at] priceofoil [dot] org

Stephen Kretzmann, steve [at] priceofoil [dot] org


In response to the language in the G20 Leaders’ Communique from the 2017 summit in Hamburg, which fails to establish a deadline for the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, Oil Change International has released the following statement from Senior Campaigner Alex Doukas:

“Rightfully, other G20 leaders put Donald Trump in the corner for a time out over his absurd climate change denial. They deserve credit for standing united behind the Paris Agreement.

Yet talk is cheap, and unfortunately the G19 failed to take action to demonstrate that they’re serious about the Paris Agreement by actually ending handouts to the fossil fuel industry, instead of once again offering the same tired ‘commitment’ backed by little action.

G20 leaders first promised to end fossil fuel subsidies in 2009. Eight years later, we still have no agreed timeline to phase out these giveaways to the world’s wealthiest corporations. If G20 leaders want to preserve any hope of meeting the climate goals they committed to in the Paris Agreement, they need to stop funding fossils. All fossil fuel subsidies must end by 2020 – a crucial step that civil society groups, major investors, and big insurers are all pushing for. Right now, continuing these fossil fuel subsidies is like spraying jet fuel on a burning house – if we keep it up, there will be nothing left.”


Further background:

  • Days before the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Hamburg, Oil Change International released “Talk is Cheap,” a report with Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, and WWF showing that G20 governments provide an average of $72 billion per year in public finance for fossil fuels – nearly 4 times as much as they provide for clean energy.
  • On July 5, a range of non-state actors representing networks covering 1.2 billion people and investors with over $22 trillion in assets identified elimination of fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 as a key outcome for the G20 this year.
  • G20 governments originally pledged to phase out fossil fuel subsidies in 2009.
  • In June of 2016, G7 leaders urged all countries to phase out fossil fuel subsidies no later than 2025.