What $11.6b Australia wasted on fossil fuel subsidies last financial year could buy

the Climate Council

AHEAD of the 2022 Federal Budget, the Climate Council has released a paper calculating ‘five better bets’, the clean energy solutions the Australian Government could be investing in, instead of subsidising the fossil fuel industry.

In the 21/22 financial year, the Australian Federal Government handed out $11.6 billion in subsidies for the use of fossil fuels. For the same money, they could instead provide Australians with:

  • One EV charging station for every 12km of Australia’s entire road network

  • Solar panels for 1.5 million low income homes – or on every public housing property in Australia (three times over)

  • 15 massive pumped hydro facilities

  • 138 city-powering big batteries

  • Replace Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane’s entire public bus fleet with electric buses, with 2,300 buses to spare

Refer to the full details and calculations in the attached paper.

Climate Council spokesperson, leading economist Nicki Hutley, called the waste of public funds on fossil fuel subsidies ‘absurd’.

“It’s utterly absurd that the Australian government wastes $22,000 every single minute in subsidies for the use of fossil fuels . This is an industry that is posting record profits at the same time as many Australian families are struggling to make ends meet,” Ms Hutley said.

“The Albanese Government has said it’s serious about easing cost of living pressures for Australians in its upcoming ‘bread and butter’ budget. Well, here’s a very good place for them to start.

“Imagine if we could install solar panels on every public housing building in the country, or if we could electricity three major Australian cities’ entire bus fleets. This really brings home the sheer scale that polluting fossil fuels are getting in tax breaks and benefits. It’s crazy.

“There are any number of positive initiatives the Federal Government could invest taxpayers’ money in that don’t worsen climate change. We have a few ideas and guess what – they are all designed to ease the cost of living and propel us towards zero emissions. These are, by far, a better bet.”

About us:

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).