Reverse the flows: EU G20 countries should stop funding fossil fuels and increase financial support for real climate solutions

Financing the transition| Global transition

The four EU Member States that are part of the G20 have spent nearly three times as much on fossil fuel subsidies as on climate finance. The EU, also a member of the G20, has spent six times as much on subsidizing fossil fuels as it has on climate finance.

As the G20 finance ministers will gather in Ankara this week, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe calls upon them to take responsibility for key components of climate action; to end fossil fuel subsidies and increase financial support for renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change adaptation.

Finance will be key to both unlocking strong ambition for climate action, and building up momentum towards the December 2015 climate summit in Paris. Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and increasing climate finance are two key aspects to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. However, despite earlier commitments, the G20 countries seem to have little appetite for real steps to phase out support for dirty fossil fuels.

“The Paris summit is dependent on a robust plan to deliver climate finance. The G20 countries need to show that they are taking this aspect seriously,” said Wendel Trio, director of CAN Europe. “We need to reverse the financial flows; financial support for fossil fuels must be eliminated while finance for low-carbon solutions and climate adaptation must be drastically increased.”

In a briefing on climate financing, launched today by CAN Europe, the scale of the problem is made clear.

Across the 4 EU G20 countries (Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom), the scale of fossil fuel subsidies, at €14 billion in 2011, is nearly 3 times higher than the annual approved climate finance of approximately €5 billion in 2013. Across the whole EU, the scale of fossil fuel subsidies at €60 billion in 2011, is six times the level of public climate finance, €9.5 billion, committed by the EU as a whole in 2013. The subsidies are high on the agenda of the Turkish G20 Presidency.

To make things worse, the EU member states are behind schedule in committing their fair share of international climate finance targets. By 2020, EU Member States should deliver approximately €24.3 billion annually. But in 2013, EU countries were already off track with total support reaching a mere €9.46 billion.

CAN Europe also joined over 65 civil society organizations from all over the world in a call to action to the G20 for stronger and more ambitious climate action. A joint civil society letter was sent to G20 finance ministers urging them to make concrete progress in their commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, to end public finance for coal and to show greater leadership in delivering climate finance.


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Maeve McLynn, CAN Europe Climate and Development policy coordinator,

Joop Hazenberg, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator,, +32 496 70 36 38

About CAN Europe

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries – representing over 44 million citizens – CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.



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