A report by BloombergNEF and Bloomberg Philanthropies shows that G20 countries have continued subsidizing fossil fuels at the expense of the environment. Despite committing to tackle climate change, G20 countries have provided more than $3.3 trillion in subsidies to fossil fuel since the Paris climate agreement in 2015.

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Antha Williams, the environment lead at Bloomberg Philanthropies, says that countries have committed to tackling climate change on paper, but actions tell a different story. “On paper, global leaders and governments are recognising the urgency of the climate challenge and the G20 countries have all made ambitious commitments to scale down fossil fuel development and transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Williams.

Related: G7 leaders commit to curb climate change, but fall short on coal

“But, in reality, the action taken by these countries up until this point is a far cry from what is needed. As a host of climate emergencies intensify around the world, the continued development of fossil fuel infrastructure is nothing short of reckless. We need more than just words – we need action.”

Michael Bloomberg and a U.N. special envoy have urged governments to act before the G20 meeting in Italy on Friday. G20 energy and climate ministers will be meeting in Italy to consult on key environmental factors. The U.N.-backed Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) has also voiced support for new commitments during the meeting. 

Günther Thallinger, chair of NZAOA, says that while the group welcomes new commitments, they must be accompanied by action since promises alone do not solve the problem. “Pledges and targets alone will not be sufficient to change course,” Thallinger said. Thallinger added that the subsidies offered by developed countries disproportionately favor the wealthy, leaving those who are less advantaged to pay a heavy price by enduring pollution’s consequences.

Another recent report prepared by the International Institute for Sustainable Development shows that 32 countries only can reduce CO2 emissions by 5.5 billion tonnes by 2030. This is equivalent to the emissions produced by 1,000 coal-fired power plants. 

Via The Guardian

Lead image via Pixabay