The fossil fuel bailout: G20 subsidies for oil, gas and coal exploration.

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Oil Change International and Overseas Development Initiative,  2014.

Governments across the G20 countries are estimated to be spending $88 billion every year subsidising exploration for fossil fuels. Their exploration subsidies marry bad economics with potentially disastrous consequences for climate change. In effect, governments are propping up the development of oil, gas and coal reserves that cannot be exploited if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.

This report documents, for the first time, the scale and structure of fossil-fuel exploration subsidies in the G20 countries. The evidence points to a publicly financed bail out for carbon-intensive companies, and support for uneconomic investments that could drive the planet far beyond the internationally agreed target of limiting global temperature increases to no more than 2ºC.

It finds that, by providing subsidies for fossil-fuel exploration, the G20 countries are creating a ‘triple-lose’ scenario. They are directing large volumes of finance into high-carbon assets that cannot be exploited without catastrophic climate effects.
They are diverting investment from economic low-carbon alternatives such as solar, wind and hydro-power. And they are undermining the prospects for an ambitious climate deal in 2015.

Read the full report here