G20 public finance for fossil fuels 'is four times more than renewables'

(Guardian, London, 5 July 2017) The G20 nations provide four times more public financing to fossil fuels than to renewable energy, a report has revealed ahead of their summit in Hamburg, where Angela Merkel has said climate change will be at the heart of the agenda. The authors of the report accuse the G20 of “talking out of both sides of their mouths” and the summit faces the challenge of a sceptical US administration after Donald Trump pulled out of the global Paris agreement. The new report by a coalition of NGOs found that the G20 countries provided an average of $71.8bn of public finance for fossil-fuel projects per year between 2013-2015, compared with just $18.7bn for renewable energy. Japan provided the most at $16.5bn per year, which was six times more than it allotted for renewables. China, which is curbing its coal use and increasingly being seen as a climate leader, provided $13.5bn for fossil fuels but just $85m for green energy. Germany, also seen a climate leader, provided $3.5bn of public finance for fossil fuels, compared with $2.4bn for renewables. Britain provided $972m for fossil fuels, compared with $172m for renewable energy. The public finance comes in the form of soft loans and export credit guarantees from governments, and, along with huge fossil fuel subsidies, makes coal, oil and gas plants cheaper, and locks in carbon emissions for decades to come...  The Natural Resources Defence Council has noted that most of these emissions don’t count towards the G20's carbon footprint as they are funding coal projects abroad.