FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
20 April 2022
Nicole Rodel – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bronwen Tucker – email@example.com
Oil Change International launches first of its kind Public Finance for Energy Database
10,000+ transactions since 2013 show G20 governments and multilateral development banks continue to finance more oil, gas, and coal than clean energy
Today Oil Change International launched the Public Finance for Energy Database (energyfinance.org). This new open-access tool tracks financial flows to fossil fuels and clean energy from G20 bilateral development finance institutions (DFIs), export finance agencies (ECAs), and the multilateral development banks (MDBs). Alongside the database, OCI has launched a briefing that explains why public finance has a significant role to play in the energy transition. It summarizes the latest data trends and political developments and explains how the database can be used to hold governments and institutions accountable towards their climate commitments.
“This month’s IPCC Working Group III report was clear that continued fossil fuel finance of any kind is misaligned with the Paris climate goals, and that public finance in particular plays a key role in determining our global future energy system,” said Nicole Rodel, Communications Campaigner at Oil Change International. “Yet, our new Public Finance for Energy Database shows that public finance remains skewed to fossil fuels. Between 2018 and 2020, G20 international public finance institutions provided at least $63 billion per year ($188 billion in total) for oil, gas, and coal projects. This preferential, government-backed fossil fuel financing was 2.5 times more than their support for clean energy, which averaged $26 billion per year over the same period.”
“This year the balance can tip in favor of a just energy transition if countries follow through on their commitments. At the global climate conference in Glasgow last November, 39 countries and institutions committed to end international public finance for fossil fuels by the end of 2022 and instead prioritize public finance for clean energy. They now have a few months left to turn their commitments into strong policy,” said Matt Maiorana, Communications Director at Oil Change International. “There is an important opportunity for these signatories to encourage other countries and the MDBs to follow suit and to use opportunities to cement their commitments in existing policy processes at the international level, including at the G7, G20, and the OECD.”
Civil society has been clear that implementing the Glasgow Statement with integrity means meeting the 2022 deadline, avoiding loopholes that allow continued financing for gas, and delivering an exponential increase in support for a just energy transition.
Public Finance for Energy Database is available at energyfinance.org and can be configured to identify key trends:
- By country: Canada, Japan, Korea, and China are the largest providers of public finance for fossil fuels, respectively providing $11.0 billion, $10.9 billion, $10.6 billion, and $7.3 billion annually between 2018 and 2020.
- By energy subtype: fossil gas is receiving more public finance than any other energy source, currently $32 billion a year, and this amount is set to increase. This is 51% of all public finance – an amount that is greater than all renewable energy finance combined.
- By recipient country: between 2018 and 2020 the top recipient countries were not the poorest. The top recipient countries were Mozambique, Russia, Canada, and Nigeria. Twelve of the top 19 recipients of public finance were high or upper-middle income countries. The greatest shares of renewable energy public finance also flowed to the wealthiest countries, with France, Australia, Spain, and the United Kingdom in the top ten.
- By institution or institution type: ECAs are the worst public finance actors, providing 11 times as much support for fossil fuels than renewable energy with $40 billion per year for fossils between 2018 and 2020 and just $3.5 billion for renewable energy.
- By year: The site’s interactive tools show data from 2013-2020, and the full downloadable dataset includes earlier data from MDBs only from 2008 onwards.
The new website also has a policy tracker that rates G20 country and multilateral development bank policies limiting oil, gas, and coal finance as well as for “indirect” public finance for fossil fuels through related infrastructure, advisory services, technical assistance, policy support, and financial intermediaries.
OCI invites civil society organizations, researchers, journalists, and government and institution officials to explore the database and help ensure public finance works towards a liveable future.
- Before today’s public launch, the database was available by email request only under the name Shift the Subsidies Database. In this form it has been used widely by civil society organizations, governments and research, intergovernmental, and media organizations including BloombergNEF, Reuters, Energy Monitor, Nature, Cambridge University.
- The Public Finance Energy Database briefing, also released today, provides background on how public finance impacts our climate goals, opportunities to shift these flows, and how to use the database.
- The data in the database is sourced primarily from government and institution reporting but also uses the Infrastructure Journal (IJ) Global database, Boston University’s China Global Energy Database, media reporting, and investigations by our partners at Friends of the Earth US, Solutions for our Climate (Korea), Jubilee Australia, and Urgewald (Germany) among others.
- The countries and the institutions that have signed the joint Glasgow statement on public finance include: Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Albania, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Banco de Desenvolvimento de Minas Gerais (BDMG), The East African Development Bank (EADB), El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO), France, Germany, Mali, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Moldova, Portugal, Slovenia, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, the European Investment Bank, The Gambia, The United Kingdom, The United States and Zambia.
- “Past Last Call” is OCI and Friends of the Earth US’s latest briefing analyzing G20 public finance figures and trends.
- In September 2021, 200+ CSOs launched a statement calling on world leaders to end public finance for fossil fuels in 2021 and launch a joint commitment to do so at COP26.
- In June 2021, 100+ Economists called on the G7 to put an end to not only coal finance, but also oil and gas finance in 2021.
- A legal opinion by Professor Jorge E Viñuales from the University of Cambridge and Barrister Kate Cook of Matrix Chambers argues that governments and public finance institutions that continue to finance fossil fuel infrastructure are potentially at risk of climate litigation.