The world\u0026#039;s richest nations have failed to agree on a deadline to phase out fossil fuels subsidies—a commitment energy ministers made in 2009—stirring new fears over the impact of the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars that go toward keeping dirty energy afloat every year.Energy ministers from the Group of 20 (G20) met in Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss bringing those subsidies to a close after the Group of 7 (G7), the world\u0026#039;s seven wealthiest economies, last month committed to eliminate \u0022inefficient\u0022 fossil fuel handouts by 2025. A report published in 2015 by the climate group Oil Change International found that the combined G20 subsidies for oil, gas, and coal production amounts to roughly $444 billion a year.But despite ambitious pledges during the COP21 summit in Paris last year and long-term campaigning from climate groups, who urged an even earlier phase-out deadline of 2020, officials could not agree on a target date.According to the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua, as the two-day meeting wrapped up without a firm plan in place, ministers released a communique and three other draft plans that reportedly \u0022encouraged\u0022 G20 members to \u0022formulate development strategies and action plans to boost renewable energy investment and consumption.\u0022The G20 were also asked to \u0022hold dialogues on emergencies in this field, guard against market disruptions and promote energy safety.\u0022\u0022G20 countries talked big in Paris about their commitment to fighting climate change, but when it comes to the basic task of stopping public support for climate changing fossil fuels, they can\u0026#039;t seem to take the first steps, much less walk the walk,\u0022 said Stephen Kretzmann, executive director at Oil Change International.\u0022The world is in a deep hole with climate change, and the first thing to do in a hole is stop digging,\u0022 Kretzmann said. \u0022If world leaders want to show that they’re committed to the kind of bold climate action they agreed to in Paris, the least they can do is commit to ending fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.\u0022U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told reporters in Beijing that a communique drafted by the ministers \u0022repeats the importance of moving towards a subsidy reduction. But within the G-20 there are different views on how fast and how aggressive one can be on that.\u0022He added that in the U.S., \u0022we\u0026#039;d like to see very substantial progress\u0022 by 2025 or 2030. The G7, which includes the U.S., agreed to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 in May—though, as Overseas Development Institute research fellow Shelagh Whitley said at the time, \u0022we could easily get there twice as fast.\u0022Li Shuo, a climate campaigner at Greenpeace, told the Washington Post on Thursday, \u0022We think that it is critical that the G-20 follows this approach and the timeline should be even earlier.\u0022This week\u0026#039;s meeting was a lead-up to another G20 summit in September to take place in Hangzhou.