Australia only second to US in G20 in propping up dying fossil fuel industry with billions

An international report, 'The Fossil Fuel bailout: G20 subsidies for oil, gas and coal exploration', shows the Abbott Government is giving the big mining companies billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies.

"While the Abbott Government is confecting a budget crisis, it's giving away billions of dollars of taxpayer money to the big mining companies to destroy our land, water, Great Barrier Reef and climate," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens mining spokesperson, said.

"The report found Australia has the second highest level of subsidies for fossil fuels in the G20, after the US, at about $4 billion a year.

"This is despite Australia and other G20 countries agreeing five years ago to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. Since making that commitment, Australia has played a spoiler role by arguing its subsidies are 'efficient'.

"It's not efficient for billions of Australians' taxpayer money to go into propping up the dying fossil fuel industry, stifling the transition we need to renewable energy.

"Thousands of Australians are locking the gate to the big mining companies to protect their land, water and climate, but the Abbott Government is using their taxes to give these multinational companies a free ride.

"We have safe, viable renewable alternatives but, with the Abbott Government pouring billions into the fossil fuel industry and threatening the renewable energy sector with uncertainty, the playing field is not fair.

"We have the potential to become a global leader in renewable energy, providing sustainable local jobs, and without sacrificing jobs in other industries like tourism and agriculture, as the coal industry does," Senator Waters said.