Public Values

Leaked declaration sees G20 back off plan to stop subsidies for Big Oil and Coal

Commitment is watered down in draft statement - Greenpeace.

Feature story – June 23, 2010 (International/Toronto) – As BP's oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, G20 heads of state, due to meet in Toronto this weekend, are planning to dilute last year's commitment to phase out subsidies to Big Oil and Big Coal, according a copy of the draft statement seen by Greenpeace.

Last year in Pittsburgh, G20 leaders agreed, "To phase out and rationalize over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies while providing targeted support for the poorest". However, this year's draft statement sees the commitment watered down with the inclusion of "voluntary, member-specific approaches", to ending fossil fuel subsidies.

"This is a major climb-down from the G20's position last year to phase out fossil fuel subsidies." said Dave Martin, Policy Adviser for Greenpeace Canada. "Greenpeace welcomed the G20 commitment to end fossil fuel subsidies last year. Now it seems that their promise was as well thought out as a deepwater drilling plan. The G20 needs to stop the gusher of public money that is spewing into the coffers of Big Oil and coal."

Added Martin: "We don't need any more excuses from the G20 – plug the leak, stop giving away taxpayer money to polluters, and start funding clean energy now."

The developed world currently gives around US $100 billion a year to the fossil fuel industry in subsidies. Meanwhile G8 countries are baulking at providing the finance needed by the world's poorest countries adapt to climate change and move to a clean energy economy.

"Subsidising the likes of BP, oil disasters and climate change is nothing short of insanity. The Gulf oil disaster has focused minds world wide on the need to end our oil addiction and begin an energy revolution. The urgent need to shift massive resources into energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. G20 leaders need to put their money where their mouths are and keep their promise to cut fossil fuel subsidies," said Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director, who will be an observer at both the G8 and G20 Summits.

"Governments passing one hundred billion dollars a year of taxpayers' money to big oil and coal is immoral when compared to their refusal to provide the same amount of money for the poorest countries for climate change adaptation and mitigation."

Greenpeace is calling for the G20 Leaders to redouble their September 2009 commitment to end fossil fuel subsidies. The G20 must take heed of the BP Deepwater oil disaster, as well as the disaster-in-progress in Alberta's tar sands, and break its addiction to fossil fuels.

Links and sources
  Greenpeace Canada

Posted: June 23, 2010


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