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G20 Moves Forward on Subsidies But Fails on Climate Finance

Posted Sep. 25, 2009 / Posted by: RConnors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Benjamin Schreiber, 202-222-0752, bschreiber@foe.org
Elizabeth Bast, 202-641-7203, ebast@foe.org

G20 Moves Forward on Subsidies But Fails on Climate Finance

Washington, D.C.— Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica had the following statement in response to the G20 communiqué released today:

"We commend the G20 for its agreement to end government subsidies for fossil fuels, but feel that industrialized country leaders missed an opportunity to make real commitments to fund international climate finance. While this is an important step forward in weaning the globe off of dirty fossil fuels, the lack of financial commitments jeopardizes an international agreement on global warming. 

"For decades, American politicians have invested merely rhetoric into sustainable, renewable energy, while pouring billions of dollars of hard cash into dirty fossil fuels. It is important that the G20 actions eliminate all subsidies for fossil fuels. For the U.S. this requires not only implementing President Obama’s February budget outline, but also ending fossil fuel subsidies given through the U.S. Export Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. contributions to the World Bank and other international financial institutions. These subsidies add up to billions of American taxpayer dollars every year going to fuel climate change through projects overseas.

"While we welcome the progress on ending fossil fuel subsidies, we are concerned that Obama and other industrialized country leaders missed an opportunity to break the deadlock in international climate discussions by pledging climate finance to the developing world. Discussions at the G20 summit skirted the issue of climate finance despite this being the central component of any fair and just agreement in the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in December. Given the outcomes of the G20, a strong first step would for the U.S. and other industrialized countries would be to pledge any savings from subsidy elimination for international climate finance."

For more information on Friends of the Earth's subsidy work, please click here: http://www.foe.org/government-and-industry/subsidies-environment

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Friends of the Earth and our network of grassroots groups in 77 countries fight to create a more healthy, just world. We're progressive environmental advocates who pull no punches and speak sometimes uncomfortable truths to power. Our current campaigns focus on clean energy and solutions to global warming, protecting people from toxic and new, potentially harmful technologies, and promoting smarter, low-pollution transportation alternatives.

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