The Phase Out of Fossil Fuel Subsidies and the Paris Climate Deal

The Phase Out of Fossil Fuel Subsidies and the Paris Climate Deal

Start funding climate action and stop funding climate chaos!

While working hard on Paris agreement, there are massive struggles on resolving Fossil Fuel Subsidies. According to Shelagh Whitley, a research fellow of Overseas Development Institute (ODI) who works on private climate finance state that G20 countries current fossil fuel subsidies (USD 452 billion) are 4 times more than global subsidies for renewable energy (USD 121 billion).

Based on the recent report “Empty Promises – G20 Subsidies to Oil, Gas and Coal Production”, Russia, US and UK have contributed high national fossil fuel subsidies. While Japan, China and Korea have large contribution in Public Finance. Saudi, Russia and Brazil’s contribution via State-Owned Enterprise sum up to USD 135.9 million per year. In general, state-owned Fossil Fuels (FF) subsidy is the highest, USD 286 billion, where 70% of FF subsidies are government owned which may, or may not be listed on the stock exchange.

01As quoted by Christiana Figueres ”Fossil Fuel subsidies is negative support of climate finance” Despite the pledges made by developed countries to scale up new and additional climate finance, many countries are failing to meet their commitment. As based on the OCI report, over USD 78 billion was spent by developed countries to support fossil fuel production in 2013 and 2014.

On the other hand, each year, G20 countries contributed FF subsidizes of USD 77 billion. Notably, these figures triumphs the current Green Climate Fund accumulation of USD 10.2 billion and developing countries receive just USD 4 billion to USD 5 billion to adapt to impacts of climate change. Many developed countries are failing to meet their commitment and much of the climate finance is not new and sadly, there is little clarity of how these money are mobilized for mitigation and adaptation.

But, this can change. There are some key recommendations for financing future climate action. For instance, more actions should be done at the national level. Government need to honour their pledges to phase out FF subsidies especially via public finance institutions. This includes the provision of grants, equity, loans, guarantees and insurance by majority government owned financial institutions for domestic and international fossil fuel production.Hence, there is the importance of finalizing the Paris agreement as well in achieving low emission and climate-resilient societies and economies development. In the latest Draft Agreement, Article 6, Paragraph 1 & 10 show clear language on reducing financial support for high emission investments.

In conclusion, “we need to ensure this commitment stays building on and strengthening previous commitments made through sustainable development goals (SDGs) and G20s commitments.” – Maeve McLynn, Climate and Development Policy Coordinator, CAN Europe

Written by: Jolene Journe T.

Edited by: Merryn

New Direction and SBI Informal Consultation

New Direction and SBI Informal Consultation


Today is a brand new experience for me as I have accompanied Emily to lodge a police report on her lost phone instead of attending Conference of Parties (COP21). Might as well grab this opportunity to have a short city-visit.

When we arrived at Police Station near Gare Du Nord, it took us quite a while to communicate effectively with the police officer due to language barrier. The reporting process took longer than we have expected. Therefore, we have decided to pay a second visit in the evening. While rushing back to COP21 venue, I stopped by a vendor booth to buy a doughnut bun filled with custard cream. Even though it looked common, I will never forget the taste of my first bite. It was simply delightful and delicious! This makes me start wondering whether every Parisian is an expert baker.

We managed to rush back to COP21 venue and attended the Subsidiary Body of Implementation (SBI), informal consultation for national adaptation plan (NAP). As a yellow badge holder, I am grateful to attend this particular session. It was opened to both observers and parties. The session started with an opening speech by the co-chair. This was followed by other formalities whereby countries’ negotiators will agree to cooperate with co-chair to ensure every decision making process reflects honesty and straightforwardness.

The negotiation started to become intense when ‘Para 4’ Green Climate Fund was discussed. Based on the first version of draft decision, Green Climate Fund is only accessible to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) and African states. On the other hand, other developing countries which are moving towards sustainable development are not eligible for this funding. Countries from Global South and working group such as “G77 and China” raised their concerns about this paragraph and demanded for text revision. However, this issue has been postponed to the next meeting due to time constraint.

In my opinion,‘Para 4’ can be described as a deliciously sweet yet poisonous apple. The reason behind is if LDCs accept this temptful offer, it may weaken the bond and trust of ‘G77 and China’ working group. G77 and China was established in 1964 by 133 members (majority are LDCs) which aims to establish a common negotiation positions to promote their collective economic interest. It is undeniable that LDCs required great amount of fundings. However, without a strong coalition between developing countries, developed countries will WIN the battle as self-differentiation is less likely their main concern.  

I think  “Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR)” is one of the most crucial cornerstones of universal agreement. Developing countries would be able to achieve sustainable development with the receive of technology, finance and capacity building. In conclusion, I hope that all participated countries which fall under the convention are able to fulfil their obligations. Climate change is a global issue that need to be solved globally.

Written by : Thomas

Edited by : Ginger