Today and tomorrow, finance ministers from the world’s 20 largest economies are gathering in the spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany to discuss issues and challenges related to our global financial system. That discussion will include fossil fuel subsidies, a long-standing agenda item of G20 gatherings.
Civil society organisations, economists and think tanks are just some of the key groups that have repeated over and again why fossil fuel subsidies are so senseless and damaging to our societies. As another round of G20 meetings gets underway, there is an indication that German government has sat up and listened to these messages.
A draft statement prepared for the finance ministers’ meeting was leaked last week, revealing the potential direction of the meeting with regard to discussions on broad financial issues. A less conspicuous part of the statement relates to fossil fuel subsidies, and the potential to anchor down a date for when they will be phased out.
The full media article can be found here.
A persistent demand of NGOs has been to phase out fossil fuel subsidies as soon as possible and no later than 2020, with developed countries taking an unwavering lead in the collective effort. In addition, civil society campaigners have been calling for the G20 to lay down a clear pathway for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, taking into consideration the energy needs of the poorest and most vulnerable communities.
So the news that there is draft language on setting such a date has injected some much needed enthusiasm into the discussions. Civil society organisations can show their support for the German government’s proposal for setting such a deadline.
In an effort to do this, Oil Change International has launched an online action for targeting G20 governments and sharing information on fossil fuel subsidies.
Additional information on fossil fuel subsidies and sustainable finance:
Climate Action Network International prepared and published a number of issue briefs related to the G20 work areas on climate, energy and finance. These short one-page briefs are set out to reach government officials as they prepare for meetings and the eventual G20 Communiqué which should be published after the G20 summit on July 8th.
Useful briefs on sustainable finance and fossil fuel subsidies can be found below: