Investments in fossil fuels – including coal, oil, gas and hydrocarbon power generation – by G20 countries reached its highest levels in 2021 since 2014, according to a report released by research institution, BloombergNEF.
BloombergNEF, in its ‘Climate Policy Factbook’ states that G20 countries provided $693 billion in fossil fuel support in 2021, showing a 16% increase from 2020 levels which saw an injection of $598 billion into the industry.
According to the report, the majority of the funding, made in the form of retail energy price subsidies, tax breaks and budgetary transfers, was directed to support fossil fuel producers and utilities whilst factors such as the evident economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in energy use – which was 5% higher than in 2016 – drove the increase in fossil fuel support.
China accounted for the majority of these investments while countries such as the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia and Argentina also represented a significant share of the funding.
In terms of resources funded, the coal industry secured $20 billion worth of government support in 2021 while the oil and gas sector witnessed a relatively stable share, rising 16% to $574 billion.
The investment record follows the G20 countries allocating up to $3.2 trillion in fossil fuel support between 2016 and 2020 to meet growing energy demand and accelerate economic developments.