G20 Finance Ministers Call for Phase-out of Inefficient Fossil Fuel Subsidies

16 February 2013: The Group of 20 (G20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' Meeting took place from 15-16 February 2013, in Moscow, Russian Federation, and concluded with the adoption of a communiqué in which G20 Finance Ministers commit to report on progress made to rationalize and phase-out, over the medium-term, inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, while providing targeted support for the poorest.

In the communiqué, G20 Finance Ministers agree to develop methodological recommendations for, and undertake a voluntary peer review process for, such fossil fuel subsidies in order to promote broad participation and report on the outcomes to G20 leaders at the G20 Summit, scheduled to take place from 5-6 September 2013, in St Petersburg, Russian Federation.

On climate change, Finance Ministers commit to continue working towards building a better understanding among G20 members of the underlying issues in the area of climate finance, taking into account the objectives, provisions and principles of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and report back to G20 Leaders in 2013. 

Addressing the meeting, World Bank President Jim Kim stressed that natural disaster damages "have more than tripled over the past 30 years," threatening to undo years of development efforts. Noting that recently 55,000 people died from extreme heat in Moscow, he concluded by calling on G20 country members to focus more on the "real and present" climate change dangers. [World Bank Press Release] [G20 Website] [The Communiqué]