November 15, 2017


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

David Turnbull, david [at] priceofoil [dot] org

Germany Misses the Mark with Fossil Fuel Subsidy Peer Review Process

Today, Germany quietly released the ‘German Report on the Phasing-Out of Inefficient Fossil Fuel Subsidies,’ the country’s self-review as part of the G20 fossil fuel subsidies peer review process.

Despite Germany’s rising fossil fuel subsidies, the review states that Germany plans to end only two subsidies, and claims that none of the other fossil fuel subsidies are ‘inefficient,’ supposedly putting them outside the G20 subsidies phase-out pledge. The two subsidies that Germany proposes to end are already required to be phased out under EU rules on subsidies to hard coal mining.

Previous studies have identified numerous fossil fuel subsidies in Germany that are not included in the report, including subsidies to lignite production, a particularly environmentally harmful fossil fuel. In their peer review of Germany’s self-reporting, the OECD, alongside the Governments of China, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, the United States, concluded unequivocally that “there are additional subsidies that benefit the production of hard coal and lignite, yet have not been included.”

In response to Germany’s report, Alex Doukas, Stop Funding Fossils Program Director at Oil Change International, released the following statement:

“Germany’s supposed review of their fossil fuel subsidies is a farce. It excludes some of Germany’s worst subsidies to dirty coal mining, and it pretends most of their other fossil fuel handouts should never have an end date. Germany has missed the mark on subsidy reform and is making a mockery of international climate goals. The level of denial exhibited in this report is the most damaging thing to happen on fossil fuel subsidy reform in the last several years, with the possible exception of the Trump Administration’s about-face on U.S. policy priorities.

“Germany should be ashamed of itself – by weakly committing only to end subsidies it is already required to phase out while manufacturing its own convenient definition of ‘inefficient’, the government is clearly skirting its responsibilities and undermining international commitments on subsidy reform.

“Germany’s continued subsidies to fossil fuel production – many of which it has left out of its subsidies review – are fueling climate chaos and undermine international climate goals. Germany cannot be a climate leader while continuing to subsidize fossil fuels.”


Note to editors:


  • In 2009, G20 governments originally pledged to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. In June of 2016, G7 leaders urged all countries to phase out fossil fuel subsidies no later than 2025.