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Governments spending billions to subsidize oil exploration: report

A new report says governments around the world are subsidizing exploration for oil reserves that can’t be used.

Yesterday, Environmental think-tank Oil Change International released “The fossil fuel bailout: G20 subsidies for oil, gas and coal exploration.”

Authors argue resources can never be burned if the world wants to limit climate change. The group notes G20 countries promised five years ago to phase out subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

“Above all, governments should price carbon to reflect the social, economic and environmental damage associated with climate change, and to reduce emissions to levels compatible with the globally agreed 2ºC target. Governments in the G20 and beyond should act immediately to phase out fossil fuel subsidies to exploration,” the report says.

It also says Canada alone spends almost one-billion dollars a year to subsidize energy exploration that are mostly in the form of tax breaks.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says the report isn’t accurate. A spokesperson says the authors assumes subsidies are available to all companies. He also says they’re more of a deferral of tax payments.