The UK is the only country in the G7 to increase subsidies for fossil fuels, a report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has highlighted. It said the G20 had "broken its promise" by continuing to subsidise fossil fuels to the tune of $452bn (£297.5bn) even though the group has pledged to stop them every year since 2009.
The UK was singled out as a country whose policies have been increasing the subsidies given to fossil fuels, particularly offshore oil and gas in the North Sea, while simultaneously cutting subsidies for renewable energy schemes.
On 9 November, a leaked letter to MPs from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, showed the UK was going to fall well short of an EU-mandated target on the amount of energy sourced from renewable sources. On 11 November, the World Energy Council downgraded the UK's energy rating in its annual Trilemma Index.
"The UK continued to encourage offshore oil and gas in the North Sea, resulting in national subsidies to fossil fuel production of an annual average of $9bn in 2013 and 2014," the ODI report stated. "The UK is also one of the few G20 countries that is increasing its fossil fuel subsidies while cutting back on support for the renewable energy investments that are needed to support a low-carbon transition."
The report also highlighted that as well as the domestic subsidies the UK is "providing $5.5bn in international public finance to fossil fuel production across 40 countries".