Dirtiest, most hypocritical or deadliest? Read more about the candidates (voting has closed - winners will be announced on April 16)!
What are fossil fuel subsidies
What are fossil fuel subsidies?
Fossil fuel subsidies are forms of public resources or financial support used to extract and burn fossil fuels. Although European countries have all agreed to scale up their efforts to tackle climate change, governments and other public institutions are still providing billions of taxpayers money to the fossil fuel industry, with the result that we all end up taking one step forward and two steps back on climate action.
What constitutes a subsidy?
CAN Europe, similar to the World Trade Organization, considers any form of government action or public intervention which lowers the cost of fossil fuel energy production or consumption a subsidy. Governments and public institutions across Europe are taking all sorts of action in favour of fossil fuels. This means fossil fuel industries don’t pay a fair price. It includes for example direct funding (e.g. for coal mines’ operations) and tax exemptions (e.g. on diesel fuel), preferential loans and guarantees from public banks, and favourable access to resources, infrastructure and land.
In a recent report, CAN Europe and partners found that 11 European countries and the EU are handing out more than €112 billion in subsidies each year.
In addition, environmental degradation, air pollution and health costs stemming from extracting and burning fossil fuels are paid not by the industry, but by society. CAN Europe agrees with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that these ‘external costs’ are also considered as fossil fuel subsidies.
You can find out more by following the links to reports, briefings and our website pages below:
Learn more about fossil fuel subsidies
Report - Phase-out 2020: Monitoring Europe’s fossil fuel subsidies (September 2017)
Report: EU Research Policies for Peace, People and Planet (July 2017)
Briefing: Connecting the dots - The EU's funding for fossil fuels (August 2016)
OECD (2015) Companion to the Inventory of Support Measures for Fossil Fuels 2015 and accompanying country-specific database
Oil Change International and Overseas Development Institute (2015) - Empty promises: G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal production
The concept of the European Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards is simple. All forms of fossil fuel subsidies (in Europe) are inefficient, harmful to our health and the environment, pollute our air, and block the transition to clean energy systems. The worst offenders deserve some well-earned public recognition, which should help to phase out all fossil fuel subsidies.
Most governments don’t like to talk about the fact that they are giving money to fossil fuels, and in some cases they do what they can to hide them. Governments may be talking up their action on climate change, but they’re still pouring billions into dirty energy.
Eight candidates have been shortlisted to compete for the podium of Europe’s worst Fossil Fuel Subsidy. The shortlist going to the public vote aims to show the broad diversity of subsidies in a broad diversity of countries, while giving considerations to communication opportunities and the possible impacts of the abolishment of the subsidies on the people and the planet.
Since it is YOUR tax money being spent on destroying your climate, your environment and your health, you should be the one deciding who the winners will be.
We want your vote
It’s time to cast your vote! The public vote is open between 19 - 30 March.
The winners will be announced mid-April… look out for the news in nominated countries and share the prize winners across social media!
The European Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards are organised by CAN Europe. Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 140 member organisations in more than 30 European countries - representing over 44 million citizens - CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.