G7 countries to miss targets for ending fossil fuels subsidies

4th June 2018 | Commercial Energy

Some of the world’s richest countries are spending billions of pounds each year subsidising fossil fuels despite pledging to turn the tap off completely by 2025, research has found.

The G7 nations – Canada, USA, France, Germany, UK, Japan and Italy – collectively spend more than £70 billion annually supporting oil, gas and coal, according to a report. A collection of think tanks and environmental groups found the UK alone spent £11 million on subsidies for fossil-fuel intensive industries and the production of polluting fuels.

The G7 has been committed to ending subsidies to fossil fuels since 2009, but at the current spending levels it risks missing its target of phasing them out by 2025, the researchers said.
Experts say that to meet the objective of keeping warming to no more than 2C, at least three-quarters of existing proven reserves of oil, gas and coal will need to be left in the ground. The Overseas Development (ODI), Oil Change International (OCI), the Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Natural Resources Defence Council ranked the G7 countries against seven different criteria to measure their commitment to meeting their pledge.


Criteria included progress made in ending support to fossil fuel exploration and extraction, fossil fuel-based power and fossil fuel use in industry and transport. Transparency was also considered, such as a government’s reporting on how much it spends on fossil fuels and the mechanisms in place to ensure it meets its targets.

The team also looked at the number of pledges and commitments each government had made to cut its spending on fossil fuel subsidies.

France came out on top – primarily down to its progress on fossil fuel production and power through measures such as stopping handing out new licences for coal and gas exploration. The US came last because of its support for exploration and production of fossil fuels and the Trump administration’s decision to back track on previous pledges to end support for fossil fuels.

The UK was ranked fourth but scored the lowest overall on transparency.

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