Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

For Immediate Release


Press Release

G20 Leaders Fail to Act on Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Undermining Paris Climate Goals


In response to the statements on fossil fuel subsidies in the G20 Leaders’ Communique, which fail to establish a deadline for the phase out of subsidies, Oil Change International has released the following statement from Senior Campaigner Alex Doukas:

“On China’s watch, G20 leaders have again failed to set a deadline to end fossil fuel subsidies, despite first agreeing to do so in 2009. Time is running out. Every dollar wasted on fossil fuel subsidies pushes us closer to climate disaster and makes the transition to clean energy more difficult. As more governments take the important step of ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change, they must stop giving handouts to big polluters, which undermine the spirit and the letter of the Paris deal.

It has been seven years since the G20 first committed to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, yet we’ve seen very little progress. The world needs G20 leaders to set a 2020 deadline to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, and it’s up to Germany, the next G20 host, to make sure it happens. If German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to maintain her reputation as a climate champion through next year’s G20 presidency, she must lead the way in securing a strong commitment from world leaders to end all fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.

It’s clear people want action. This year, investors, major insurance companies, and hundreds of civil society organizations all called on the G20 to set an ambitious 2020 deadline to end fossil fuel subsidies.  We agree with the recent Bloomberg View editorial that called fossil fuel subsidies the world’s dumbest policy. The whole world is telling G20 leaders it's time to stop funding fossils."

Further background:

  • G20 governments originally pledged to phase out fossil fuel subsidies in 2009.
  • In June, G7 leaders urged all countries to phase out fossil fuel subsidies no later than 2025.
  • Empty Promises,” a report launched last year by Oil Change International and the Overseas Development Institute, found that subsidies from G20 governments to fossil fuel production alone (not including subsidies to consumers) averaged $444 billion annually between 2013 and 2014.
  • On August 30, major insurers with $1.2 trillion in assets under management released a statement calling on G20 leaders to commit to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.
  • In June, more than 200 civil society groups from around the world released a statement calling on G20 leaders to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.
  • Last week, the Bloomberg View editorial board called fossil fuel subsidies "the world's dumbest policy" in their editorial.


Oil Change International is a research, communications, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the ongoing transition to clean energy.

Scientists to BlackRock Vice Chairman: New Fossil Fuel Development 'Incompatible' With 1.5°C

"The only responsible course of action is to do everything in our power to stop fossil fuel expansion and further emissions."

Jessica Corbett ·

Goldman Prize Awarded to Activists Who Showed Nature's 'Amazing Capability to Regenerate'

"While the many challenges before us can feel daunting, and at times make us lose faith, these seven leaders give us a reason for hope and remind us what can be accomplished in the face of adversity."

Julia Conley ·

Faith Leaders Call for Federal Election Monitors in Georgia to Protect Black Voters

"It is imperative that our election this November is monitored to preserve ballot integrity and ensure ballot security."

Brett Wilkins ·

'Inaction Is Bought': Here Are the Receipts on NRA's Purchase of GOP

"The issue is money in politics," said Nina Turner after the nation's latest mass killing of students and teachers. Right-wing lawmakers are "allowing children to die because of the gun lobby."

Kenny Stancil ·

'This Is on You!' Beto Interrupts Abbott Press Conference on Texas Massacre

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke accused Texas' GOP leaders of "doing nothing and offering us nothing" in the wake of the massacre at Robb Elementary School.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo