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Fossil fuel subsidies in Australia: federal and state government assistance to fossil fuel producers and major users 2020-21

Government subsidies Fossil fuels Energy resources Australia

In 2020-21, Australian Federal and state governments provided a total of $10.3 billion worth of spending and tax breaks to assist fossil fuel industries. The $7.8 billion cost of the fuel tax rebate alone is more than the budget of the Australian Army. Over the longer term, $8.3 billion is committed to subsidising gas extraction, coal-fired power, coal railways, ports, carbon capture and storage, and other measures.

With climate action becoming ever more urgent and the Biden Administration in the United States moving to phase out fossil fuel subsidies in that country, the question emerges: how much are Australian fossil fuel subsidies costing governments and the wider community?

In this paper, the estimates have been guided by the information that is available in official, public documents. Federal and state government budget papers and annual reports of government-owned entities provide data on a range of government spending and other support measures to fossil fuel industries. In some instances, public announcements around these measures provide more detail than is contained in official documents and have been used in the estimates.

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