Friends Fiduciary joined other investors in asking G20 countries to publish a deadline for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. Fossil fuel subsidies are burdensome to governments, economically inefficient, and unnecessarily exacerbate the world’s dangerous reliance on fossil fuels. According to a 2015 study, “G20 governments spend $444 billion each year to support fossil fuel production.” The G20 has pledged in the past to end this outlay, but has not yet established a timeline for phase-out of subsidies and public finance for oil, gas, and coal production.
Investors with over $3.5 trillion in assets under management asked the G20 to commit to ending subsidies by 2020, and for all members to undergo fossil fuel subsidy peer reviews by the end of 2018 in anticipation of that goal. Investors also encouraged the G20 to expand the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s role in accounting fossil fuel subsidies as well as public and state-owned investment in fossil fuel extraction, leading to further transparency.