Ahead of G20 meetings starting Sunday in Turkey, more than 60 organizations representing millions of people from around the world mobilized to demand world leaders "stop funding the problem" and put an end to fossil fuel subsidies.
Happening on and offline, the Stop Funding Fossil Fuels day of action targets G20 countries for doling out over $450 billion USD per year to oil, gas, and coal companies for the exploration and production of fossil fuels—despite having vowed to stop doing so.
"It is outrageous that despite years of promises, G20 countries are still handing out hundreds of billions of dollars in public money every year to some of the richest, most polluting companies on the planet," said David Turnbull, campaigns director of Oil Change International, which just this week released a report showing that the U.S. government alone is providing more than $20 billion a year to prop up fossil fuels industry. "It is time to stop paying polluters to fuel the climate crisis and instead focus on supporting safe, clean, and renewable energy."
German divestment activist Paula Weninger of Fossil Free Berlin added: "We're taking action in Berlin to expose the hypocrisy of our German government posing as a leader in movving toward green energy—while in reality propping up the dying coal, gas, and oil industries with huge subsidies. It's time to stop funding the fossils of the past and reinvest in solutions."
With United Nations-brokered COP21 climate talks less than three weeks away, organizers underscore that fossil fuel subsidies have been shown to be a key driver of global warming.
This short video from Oil Change International shows how subsidies are pushing the world toward "climate disaster:"
For that reason, "ending fossil fuel subsidies and other dirty finance is the clearest way that G20 countries can help build momentum for the climate talks in Paris," said 350.org executive director May Boeve.
The two-day G20 summit is expected to be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, among others. French President François Hollande said Saturday he will not attend in the wake of Friday's attacks.