Public spending on fossil fuels outstrips renewables fourfold

7 Jul 17

G20 governments are giving nearly four times more public finance to fossil fuels than green energy, according to campaigners.

Between 2013 and 2015, G20 institutions and multilateral development banks gave more than $71.8bn annually to support fossil fuel production, the analysis from Oil Change International said in a report out on Wednesday.

This compared to $18.7bn spent annually to support clean energy - such as wind, solar, geothermal and small hydropower - the environmental organisation highlighted. 

“Public finance for fossil fuels far outstrips public finance for clean energy sources – a trend that will have to rapidly reverse in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” the report stated.

“If G20 leaders are serious about meeting climate goals, they must undertake rapid and ambitious efforts to shift public finance from ‘brown’ to ‘green’ activities.”

Global administrations should shift trillions of dollars away from fossil fuel infrastructure to low-emission activities to comply with the Paris Agreement, Oil Change International recommended. 

It released Talk is Cheap: How G20 Governments are Financing Climate Disaster ahead of the G20 summit today in Hamburg, and after US president Donald Trump decided to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

The climate change agreement promises to hold global warming to below a 2°C increase and to strive to limit it to 1.5°C.

It was originally signed by 196 parties at the 21st Conference of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015.

“With the United States indicating that it intends to pull out of the Paris Agreement, other governments must provide leadership in the clean energy transition: the remaining G20 governments will need to step up,” Oil Change International said.

Figures in the report for public finance given to fossil fuel production between 2013 and 2015 by G20 institutions and multilateral developments banks showed:$62bn annually – half of all the finances – to support oil and gas production:

• $62bn annually – half of all the finances – to support oil and gas production
• 6 times more finance to oil and gas production than coal
• $13.5bn annually for the exploration of oil, gas and coal
• $38.3bn annually from export credit agencies for fossil fuel production
• World Bank provided $8.7bn annually of fossil fuel finance

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