Article Series: Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Analysis: G-20 and APEC Progress

The studies below analyze issues to do with fossil-fuel subsidy reform in G-20 and APEC countries.

Research Type: 

The First Year of the G-20 Commitment on Fossil-Fuel Subsidies

Since 2009, the continued activity surrounding fossil-fuel subsidy reform has in large part been due to the G-20’s commitment to phase out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies. But the task of phasing out fossil-fuel subsidies is challenging and takes time. Much remains to be done by G-20 countries to fulfill their objective, including monitoring of the phase-out.

This report offers a commentary on the first year of the G-20’s commitment and the actions of other governments and organizations that have contributed to the reform movement, including the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Friends of Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform group of countries. It identifies lessons that can be learned and looks ahead at what further progress the G-20 and international community can make to enhance global and national efforts to reduce fossil-fuel subsidies.

Tax and Royalty-Related Subsidies to Oil Extraction from High-Cost Fields: A Study of Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the UK and the US

Analytical work since the G-20 commitment to reform fossil-fuel subsidies has exposed the vast deficit in the information needed for an informed public debate to take place on the scope, magnitude and impact of fossil-fuel subsidies globally. This exploratory study, commissioned by Greenpeace International, provides a starting point by analysing tax and royalty subsidies for high-cost reserves in five G-20 countries: Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States.

International Co-operation for Reform

International collaboration and agreement can provide essential support to national efforts to reform fossil-fuel subsidies. This paper takes a detailed look at the opportunities, strengths and weaknesses of progressing fossil-fuel subsidy reform within the WTO, UNFCCC and under the G-20's political leadership. It concludes that a collaborative approach is needed, with country champions driving the process. The paper outlines a roadmap over the next 12 months, 1-3 years and the longer term for increasing international cooperation, and preparing the path to a multilateral agreement on fossil-fuel subsidy reform.

This paper was prepared by the GSI under IISD's From Bali To Copenhagen program, which can be accessed at: