«Aiding oil, harming the climate» is a new report from the organisation "Oil Change International", which shows dramatically that the major investments still go into the oil, gas and coal sector instead of renewable energies. For more than 25 years, wealthy countries have been using aid and other foreign assistance to subsidize the expansion of the international oil industry, a practice known as “Oil Aid”. Governments cannot actively subsidize the expansion of the oil industry and effectively fight global warming at the same time.
Following is an excerpt of the conclusion from «Aiding oil, harming the climate»:
- In 2006, the World Bank increased its energy sector commitments from $2.8 billion to $4.4 billion. Oil, gas and power sector commitments account for 77 per cent of the total energy sector program while ‘new renewables’ account for only 5 per cent.
- In 2007, the International Finance Corporation private-sector lending arm of the World Bank provided more than $645 million to oil and gas companies. This is an increase of at least 40 per cent from 2006.
- In 2006, the IFC increased its support for oil projects by 77 per cent, and for gas projects by 53 per cent. At the same time, support for fossil fuels generally at the World Bank Group increased by 93 per cent. While support for renewables and efficiency together in the Bank Group also increased at this time, it was only by 46 per cent.
- More than 80 per cent of the World Bank Group’s oil extraction projects since 1992 are designed for export, rather than the alleviation of energy poverty.
The $61.3 billion in oil aid is in addition to the estimated $150-$250 billion in domestic subsidies that national governments provide to their oil and gas industries annually, according to the recent Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. They also do not include any of the costs of military operations around the world which are often fairly characterized as a subsidy to the oil industry.
Together, domestic subsidies and international oil aid are maintaining and often increasing the tilt in the “energy playing field” in favor of the oil industry at precisely the moment we need to move away from their dominance in our economies.
While Oil Aid is purportedly for the benefit of developing countries, it often amounts to a subsidy for some of the wealthiest corporations in the world. ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell are the beneficiaries of some of the oil aid. It is hard to see why these corporations need public support.