Pressure building to end trillion dollar subsidy to oil industry


As the world’s leaders meet at the G20 in Mexico and the Rio +20 Earth Summit in Brazil, there is strong a global call to end government subsidies for dirty energy. has spearheaded a Twitterstorm that is climbing its way to the top of the trending twitter topics. There are also several other campaigns underway and new reports available showing the negative economic and environmental implications of continuing the trillion dollars in public handouts to fossil fuel companies worldwide.



RT @HuffposGreen Robert Redford “We should not be subsidizing the destruction of our planet” #endfossilfuelsubsidies

Key Points

  • The time for talk is over. We need to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, as the OECD and the International Energy Agency (IEA) point out, fossil fuel subsidies are a drag on economic recovery.
  • Three years after the G20 announced it would deal with fossil fuel subsidies – it’s now time for action.
  • At a time of global austerity, it is untenable that big oil and king coal are receiving producer subsidies from taxpayers who are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet.


New reports now show that each year the world’s governments give at least a trillion dollars to fossil fuel companies around the world. These subsidies come at a cost to taxpayers as well as the environment. Reports also show that these trillions of dollars are also stifling the clean energy sector.

Since the G20 meetings in Pittsburgh in 2009, changing  the way fossil fuels are subsidized has been a subject often talked about, yet no actions or clear phase out plans have been drawn up the subsequent G20 meetings or UN Climate Summits. In fact countries like Canada, are reportedly trying to mute discussions of reducing subsidies at this week’s G20 and Rio +20 Earth Summit.

Despite these efforts, a global movement has sprung up during the week of this year’s G20 meetings and the and the Rio +20 meeting where citizens are calling for a clear path towards phasing out these subsidies as soon as 2015. These efforts (see: Related Actions section above) combined with new evidence of the economic and environmental destruction caused by these subsidies (see: More Resources section below), are aimed at getting the attention of the world’s most influential leaders at a time where they are talking about reigning in government spending around the world.