How much COVID-19 recovery money are governments giving to fossil fuels?

Oil Change International


We aren’t asking you to sign a petition or donate – instead we’re sharing a few interesting new resources.

We recently teamed up with a group of organizations to launch an exciting new tool: the Energy Policy Tracker. This comprehensive database keeps track of where COVID-19 recovery money is going. The results are painful: G20 governments have already committed over USD $160 billion to fossil fuels – and only 20% of it has any green conditions attached.

Click here to explore the data for yourself – it gets updated every Wednesday.

This is the exact opposite of what we need to confront today’s interlinked crises. For us to limit warming to 1.5ºC, we need governments to proactively manage the phase-out of fossil fuel production. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis – and sudden cratering of the oil economy – that is more true than ever.

The fossil fuel industry and its allies want you to think the path forward is complicated. It’s not. That’s why we’ve put together an incredibly simple two-question “decision tree” quiz that you can take and then share with friends and family: 

What we’re seeing now is governments trying to do the impossible: confront the climate crisis and prop up Big Oil and Gas. The trouble is, our research shows that the potential carbon emissions from burning all the oil, gas, and coal in developed reserves – where the wells are already drilled, the pits dug, and the pipelines, processing facilities, railways, and export terminals constructed – would already warm the Earth more than 2ºC, let alone 1.5ºC. 

That means it’s not enough to just stop new fossil fuel expansion. Now, climate leadership means planning ways to manage the decline in fossil fuel production and use, protecting people and communities – not bailing out Big Oil and Gas. 

We need this real climate leadership now, both to prevent this planet’s high fever from turning into a heatstroke, and to also secure meaningful, sustainable economic recovery that works for people and communities. Fossil fuels were showing signs of permanent decline before the COVID-19 crisis hit. Instead of giving bailouts to polluting industries, now is time for governments to manage the decline of oil and gas, supporting workers and communities, and standing with frontlines communities.

Now is the time for governments to begin a just transition away from oil and gas production. Fossil fuel phase out plans are a critical pillar of a just recovery. If you agree, help spread the word by sharing the quiz on Facebook or click here to tweet


David Tong
Senior Campaigner
Oil Change International

P.S. Check out our briefing ‘Resilient societies or fossil fuel bailouts?’ for our experts’ recommendations on how governments can best respond to the current health and economic crises.

Oil Change International campaigns to expose the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitate the coming transition towards clean energy. We are dedicated to identifying and overcoming barriers to that transition.

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