A new report ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg has found that these economic giants are still providing 400pc more funding to subsidise fossil fuels than they are for renewable energy. The report's authors have accused the governments of being duplicitous ahead of a summit meeting which will already be challenging with Donald Trump having exited the original Paris Agreement.
The public financing support takes the form of government guarantees and so-called soft loans, along with vast subsidy arrangements. These act to lock in greenhouse gas emissions for years ahead by making fossil fuel plants cheaper to operate.
Scientists have found that, in order to keep global warming at the target level of under 2 degrees C, the majority of reserves must remain unmined, necessitating a powerful investment shift towards clean power technologies such as wind and solar.
The report was produced by an NGO coalition. It found that for 2013-2015, fossil fuels in G20 countries were given $71.8 billion of public funding compared to $18.7 billion for renewable power.
China, which has made much of its transition to a green energy leader, provided $85 million in support for renewables compared to $13.5 billion for fossil fuels. Germany also provided $2.4 billion for renewables compared to $3.5 billion for damaging fossil fuels. The UK gave $172 million to renewables compared to a huge $972 million for fossil fuel industries.
The report's authors reminded the G20 that they had promised the world to take 'meaningful steps' to slash greenhouse gases and help to avoid the worst effects of climate change. They said that the G20 leaders had demonstrated that talk was cheap.
Angela Merkel spoke ahead of the summit, saying that climate change was a priority. The IMF has found that fossil fuels receive $10 million in subsidies every minute.