The Australian government has ruled out taxpayer handouts for overseas coal and gas projects – now it needs to make that commitment at home.

The Albanese government’s signing of the Glasgow Statement, or Clean Energy Transition Partnership, is a positive step that will help accelerate the worldwide transition from fossil fuels to renewables, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.

Last night Australia signed the Glasgow Statement at the UN climate talks in Dubai, committing to not spend public money on international fossil fuel projects.

Research by Jubilee shows Australia’s export credit agency provided more than $1.5 billion in finance to overseas fossil fuel projects between 2009 and 2020.

“Australia signing the Glasgow Statement is a positive step away from using public money to prop up climate-wrecking fossil fuels and towards helping our neighbours implement secure, stable and clean renewable energy systems,” said ACF’s climate and energy program manager Gavan McFadzean.

“It’s essential any support for energy projects in our region is for clean energy to help our neighbours transition to net zero, not incentivise the opening of new coal and gas projects.

“The next step must be to stop subsidising the expansion of coal and gas at home.

“This year’s federal budget contained approximately $50 billion in fossil fuel subsidies, including $41 billion for the notorious fuel tax credit scheme over the forward estimates.

“While the rest of us pay around 46 cents in tax for every litre of fuel we buy at the servo, the fuel tax credit scheme means multinational mining companies like Glencore and BHP get a 100% refund on their fuel taxes.

“The fuel tax credit scheme encourages climate pollution, discourages innovation and costs Australian taxpayers around $10 billion a year. It provides a perverse incentive to pollute.”

ACF is a member of a coalition that has been urging the Albanese government to sign the Glasgow Statement.

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