Saudi-led G20 energy statement backs fossil fuel bailouts

(Climate Home News, 1 Oct 2020) Under Saudi leadership, G20 energy ministers rubber-stamped fossil fuel bailouts, while neglecting to mention climate change or the group’s long-standing pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies.

A joint statement from the group of major economies on Monday focused on stabilising energy markets disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. After a two-day virtual meeting, ministers pledged to collaborate “to encourage dialogue to help mobilize public and private investment in various energy sectors”.

Discussion of energy efficiency and renewables was put in the context of a “circular carbon economy”, with equal weight given to reusing and removing carbon dioxide from the air.

Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman insisted when he set out the circular carbon strategy earlier this year: “Carbon is not the enemy.”

The G20 communique described it as “a holistic, integrated, inclusive, and pragmatic approach to managing emissions that can be applied reflecting country’s priorities and circumstances”.

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Climate Home News, 1 Oct 2020: Saudi-led G20 energy statement backs fossil fuel bailouts