In April 2022, Oil Change International launched the Public Finance for Energy Database, an open-access tracker showing financial flows to fossil fuels and clean energy from G20 bilateral development finance institutions (DFIs), export credit agencies (ECAs), and the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs).
This briefing explains why these flows matter and how to use this data to help secure a just energy transition. Public finance shapes our future energy systems, making up an estimated 10% of global financial flows. The impact of this finance reaches beyond its own scale because public finance also has an outsized effect on the decisions private financiers make. The G20 institutions that Public Finance for Energy Database tracks are among the most influential. Unfortunately, they are currently blocking a just energy transition, bankrolling 2.5 times more fossil fuels than clean energy.
This briefing shows:
- Most public finance (51%) for energy now flows to fossil gas and this support is growing.
- Canada, Japan, Korea, and China are the largest providers of trade and development finance for fossil fuels.
- Russia was the second-largest recipient of G20 and MDB international public finance for fossil fuel projects between 2018 and 2020 despite a clear trend of increased military aggression under Putin.
- There is an important opportunity to end public finance for Russian oil and gas and to fast-track rapid decarbonization projects in the regions most vulnerable to price spikes.
- Most international public finance flows between wealthy countries, not to lower income countries in support of development.
- There is momentum growing to end public finance for fossil fuels and shift this to support a just energy transition, with 39 countries and institutions committing to do this by the end of 2022 under the Glasgow Statement at COP26. There are important upcoming windows for these countries to invite others to join them and cement their commitment in key international policy processes.
If held accountable to their public-interest mandates, public banks are uniquely positioned to catalyze a just, transformative, and rapid transition. The first step is for these institutions to keep their promises to #StopFundingFossils.