Phase-out 2020: monitoring Europe's fossil fuel subsidies

Research reports and studies
September 2017
Ipek Gencsu, Maeve McLynn, Matthias Runkel, Markus Trilling, Laurie van der Burg, Leah Worrall, Shelagh Whitley, and Florian Zerzawy

This research shows that governments in Europe and the European Union (EU) are continuing to subsidise oil, gas and coal, fuelling dangerous climate change with taxpayers’ money both at home and abroad.

The EU and all its Member States have committed to phasing out environmentally harmful subsidies, including those to fossil fuels, by 2020. European governments have made parallel pledges to end inefficient fossil fuel subsidies under the G7 and the G20. Despite this, our research indicates that 11 European countries and the EU provided at least €112 billion in subsidies per year between 2014 and 2016 towards the production and consumption of fossil fuels. €4 billion of these subsidies came from the EU itself.

The summary report, Phase-out 2020: monitoring Europe's fossil fuel subsidies, discovers that the transport sector was the main beneficiary, with more than €49 billion used to support the use of fossil fuels, including tax breaks to reduce the price of diesel. Overall, the transport sector received 44% of the total government support identified.

European governments should be held accountable for the fossil fuel subsidies highlighted in this research, and should seize the opportunity to end support to the fossil fuel industry once and for all.