Finance ministers from G20 countries will meet on 16th July in Jeddah to discuss how we recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2015, governments around the world committed to hold global warming to well below 2°C and to strive to limit warming to 1.5°C by adopting the Paris Agreement. However, a report by Oil Change International and Friends of the Earth USA shows that G20 countries have undermined the Paris agreement by providing at least USD 77 billion a year for oil, gas, and coal projects through their international public finance institutions. These countries provided more than three times as much support for fossil fuels as for clean energy.
With the health and livelihoods of billions at immediate risk from COVID-19, governments are preparing public spending packages of a magnitude they previously deemed unthinkable. The fossil fuel sector was showing long-term signs of systemic decline before COVID-19 and has been quick to seize on this crisis with requests for massive subsidies and bailouts. We cannot afford for the wave of public finance that is being prepared for relief and recovery efforts to prop up the fossil fuel industry as it has in the past. Business as usual would exacerbate the next crisis— the climate crisis—that is already on our doorstep.
Stay tuned for international protests calling for the G-20 to change course.