European governments are continuing to hand out more than €112bn a year in fossil fuel subsidies, despite having committed to phase out subsidies by 2020, according to a new report from the Overseas Development Institute and Climate Action Network.

There is considerable debate over what constitutes a subsidy and the circumstances under which subsidies can be defined as “harmful”, however the report maintains that the huge scale of the subsidies is hampering the transition to low carbon technologies.

The report looked at 11 European countries and the EU between 2014 and 2016, and found that the transport sector was the largest beneficiary, receiving more than €49bn of support each year. They also found that industry and business receives more than €15bn a year in fossil fuel subsidies, while oil and gas giants continue to enjoy support for fossil fuel exploration.

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