Governments across the G20 countries are estimated to be spending $88 billion every year subsidising exploration for fossil fuels. Their exploration subsidies marry bad economics with potentially disastrous consequences for climate change. In effect, governments are propping up the development of oil, gas and coal reserves that cannot be exploited if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.
For the first time ever, the OECD has compiled an inventory of over 250 measures that support fossil-fuel production or use in 24 industrialised countries, which together account for 95% of energy supply in OECD countries. Those measures had an overall value of about USD 45-75 billion a year between 2005 and 2010. In absolute terms, nearly half of this amount benefitted petroleum products (i.e.