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Fossil fuels get funds over clean energy

Australia has spent four times as much on support for fossil fuels than clean energy in its coronavirus response, with the aviation sector getting most of the funds.

The federal government’s biggest energy-related cheque is the $715 million aviation sector relief package, to help the industry deal with the loss of revenue caused by coronavirus travel restrictions.

The analysis has been put together by 14 organisations across the globe ahead of the G20 finance ministers meeting later this week.

On a global level, G20 members have put about $215 billion to measures supporting fossil fuels after the pandemic began.

In comparison, about $89 billion has been put toward clean energy.

The Australia Institute is one of the organisations that worked on the analysis, and its energy program director Richie Merzian says the results are disappointing but not surprising.

“Australian governments continue to prop up the coal and natural gas sectors with fee waivers, fast-tracked projects and direct investments, further entrenching Australia’s position as the third largest exporter of fossil fuels in the world,” he said.

“Australia misses the opportunity to lever the economic recovery from COVID-19 to address the climate crisis that only a few months earlier contributed to unprecedented bushfires across the country.”

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