“Today’s announcement from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada and many of their peers is a disappointment. At a time when we need rich country leaders to concretely expand their past ambition to secure a fair deal, these ministers are just regurgitating promises and initiatives that are now more than a decade old and have been so ineffective that fossil fuel handouts and profits continue to reach record levels.”
Ending fossil fuel subsidies presents a massive opportunity to shift billions to pay for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate finance, as well as to social protection measures that can mitigate any harmful impacts on households. If the Netherlands takes action now, it has an opportunity to bring other countries along at COP28, the upcoming UN climate conference in Dubai.
Today the outgoing Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Policy, Rob Jetten, published an analysis of the Netherlands’ fossil fuel subsidies, estimating these at between €39.7 and €46.4 billion a year, more than 4% of the Netherlands’ GDP.
Never before has there been such a detailed, peer-reviewed mapping of fossil fuel subsidies in the Netherlands. The report identifies 31 fossil fuel subsidies that, combined, provide €37.5 billion per year in fossil fuel subsidies between 2020 and 2022.
Rather than building momentum towards COP27 through delivering strong policies and a harmonized approach to implementing the collective promise to end international public finance for fossil fuels by the end of 2022, the Summit was overshadowed by backsliding.
Since May 2021, Shell has expressed interest to develop ten new oil and gas extraction assets, which could lock in additional CO2 pollution (325 million metric tonnes) two times greater than the Netherlands’ total CO2 emissions in 2021.
Despite the ongoing climate crisis, Shell continues to develop new oil and gas assets. Since the Dutch court ruling in May 2021, Shell has made definitive investments in 10 assets, which once burned will result in 325 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. Shell also co-owns more than 750 untapped oil and gas assets, which would amount to 4.3 billion metric tonnes of extra CO2 emissions, 30 times more than the total emissions from the Netherlands in 2021.
The time has come for ambitious E3F action, not just ambitious words. We do not want to see a year of vague compromises and exceptions that water the commitment down and lead to continued support for fossil fuels, such as gas – as this not only puts the climate at risks, it also locks countries in the south into fossil dependence with all the economic risks that come along.
A policy brief released today by OCI and ODI shows that despite their commitment to align financial flows with climate goals under the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015, the E3F countries still provided €20 billion in export finance for fossil fuel projects abroad between 2018 and 2020.
This increases the number of signatories to 29 and the annual average of potential public finance shifted out of fossil fuels and into clean energy to at least USD 21.7 billion per year.