Australian fossil fuel projects provided $ 36.7 billion in foreign public funding over a decade | Energy

Public financial institutions abroad, including export credit agencies, poured $ 36.7 billion into Australian fossil fuel projects over a decade, according to new research.

The report, from a group of environmental groups, including Jubilee Australia and the Australian Conservation Foundation, found that this was 11 times more than the amount directed to renewable energy, which received $ 3.3 billion. between 2010 and 2020.

But it also found that the gap between funding available for fossil fuels and renewable energy had narrowed in recent years.

The paper has been released as the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow is expected to bring closer focus on public funding of fossil fuels, with the UK reporting to push for an agreement to halt foreign funding for such projects.

Earlier this month, OECD countries agreed to halt export credit subsidies for undiminished coal-fired power plants. In September, China announced it would no longer fund coal-fired power plants abroad.

The research examined databases – including the Oil Change International’s Shift the Subsidies database – that track public energy funding.

Of the 36.7 billion USD, it found that 28.07 billion. USD went to LNG projects in Australia, including 9.67 billion. USD to Ichthy’s LNG development in northwestern Australia and 7.76 billion. USD to Australia Pacific LNG in Queensland.

Research says the overall figure is likely to be higher because many public financial institutions do not publish detailed records of their transactions.

Three countries provided Australia with the bulk of this LNG funding, with Japan providing 41% ($ 11.7 billion), China 20% ($ 5.6 billion) and South Korea 14% ($ 3.96 billion). ).

About 6.7 billion. USD went to coal projects.

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Jubilee Australia’s campaign director, Dina Rui, said public funding for fossil fuels would have to stop if countries were to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis.

“Even the traditionally conservative International Energy Agency says a warming below 1.5 degrees means there can be no new coal, oil or gas projects,” she said.

“Australia should support the shift away from fossil fuels, not try to hold back progress by blocking stronger agreements to stop public funding of coal and gas.”

Contributions peaked in 2012, with around DKK 18.5 billion. USD flowed to Australian projects.

The report found that contributions had fallen in recent years, particularly in 2020, when $ 364 million went to fossil fuel projects, compared to $ 317 million for renewable energy.

But research is fueling the Covid-19 pandemic, which “lowers fossil fuel demand and causes project delays, rather than a downward trend.”

Tim Buckley of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said the pressure was building on countries to stop capital injections into fossil fuels.

“My number one problem is the constant rejection by the Morrison government that fossil fuels are a cheap source of energy and that renewable energy is not as cost-effective,” he said.

“If they were so viable, why does an industry that has existed for centuries still need subsidies?”

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But he said the amount of global public finances targeting fossil fuels had fallen in the last two years, with a shift towards investing in renewable energy.

“I expect that trend to continue,” he said.

“But the question is, why is there still someone who provides literally billions in capital injections for coal, oil and gas?”

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