Fossil fuel subsidies in Australia (2021-22)

Federal and state government assistance to fossil fuel producers and major users in 2021-22

In 2021-22, Australian Federal and state governments provided a total of $11.6 billion worth of spending and tax breaks to assist fossil fuel industries. This is a 12% increase on last year’s figure and 56 times the budget of the National Recovery and Resilience Agency. Over the longer term, $55.3 billion is committed to subsidising gas and oil extraction, coal-fired power, coal railways, ports, carbon capture and storage, and other measures.

As major flooding, exacerbated by climate change, hits eastern Australia and global calls to end fossil fuel subsidies grow louder, Australian governments continue to subsidise fossil fuel producers and major fossil fuel consumers. Government documents show that in the 2021-22 budget year, measures that wholly, primarily or partly assist the fossil fuel industry cost federal, state and territory governments $11.6 billion.

In other words, for every minute of every day in the 2021-22 budget period these subsidies cost the public $22,139. For context, $11.6 billion is 56 times greater than the $206.8 million budget of the National Recovery and Resilience Agency.

The total value of budgeted fossil fuel assistance over the life of projects and the forward estimates of ongoing programs is $55.3 billion. By contrast, the balance of Australia’s Emergency Response Fund was $4.8 billion in December 2021.

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