Subsidy Watch Blog

The Subsidy Watch blog provides news, commentary and analysis related to subsidies and sustainable development.

A Solar Journey: Reaching the remotest villages

Sarda’s remote location cuts off its market linkages and increases the challenge of making electricity accessible and other basic services. We document the deployment of solar in this community.


Learning from Leaders: How experts shed light on fossil fuel subsidy reform at COP 22

Cooperative, non-market and country-led—that was the order of the day when it came to fossil fuel subsidy reform (FFSR) at the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) from November 7–19 in Marrakech, Morocco

Naked Budgets: A fiscal argument to save the climate

Two news stories this week, emerging from either side of the Atlantic, encapsulate the climate change conundrum.

GSI at COP 22

Below are posters of GSI supported events at COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco. A full listing of FFSR events can be found here.

How Electricity Subsidy Reform Can Benefit Indonesia

The Government of Indonesia has been considering a new wave of electricity subsidy reforms since January 2016—delaying its plans twice now for a combination of political and practical reasons. Almost every time and in every country, citizens do not welcome such reforms, asking questions like "Will I have to pay more for power?" "Why do prices need to go up anyway?" and "How are the poorest expected to cope?" But while costs and risks are often well understood, the benefits and opportunities of reform do not receive the same attention.

Redirection of Fossil Fuel Subsidies Towards Women Holds Huge Opportunity for Sustainable Development

A new report from IISD's Global Subsidies Initiative, entitled Gender and Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform, suggests that the reform of fossil fuel subsidies should focus assistance toward women in poverty.

Indonesia Energy News September 2016

As part of its work on energy policy and sustainable development in Indonesia, the Global Subsidies Initiative publishes a regular briefing on issues related to energy subsidies.

India Energy Subsidy Briefing September 2016

As part of its work on energy policy and sustainable development in India, the Global Subsidies Initiative publishes a regular briefing on issues related to energy subsidies. This edition includes a new LPG scheme (Ujjwala); a new pricing policy for kerosene; delays with the DBT-K cash transfer scheme for kerosene; and a deadline extension for the UDAY scheme to help debt-ridden distribution companies.

Indonesia Should Lead the G20 on Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform

Indonesia has a longstanding relationship with energy subsidies. For more than 40 years, these subsidies have been part of the lives of millions of Indonesians every day. For good and bad. Nevertheless, Indonesia has shown that fossil fuel subsidies can indeed be tackled. Last year, the Jokowi administration cut around IDR 200 trillion (USD 15 billion) from gasoline and diesel reforms, freeing up much needed money to invest in people and society. These are real achievements that hold many promises, not only for Indonesia, but for the international community as a whole. 

Winter Approaches: The Real Test for Ukraine's Energy Subsidy Reforms

With the approach of winter, there are more and more heated debates about heat, gas and electricity tariffs in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government is facing a growing political pushback on the tariff increase schedule adopted in April 2016.

Subsidies Driving Overcapacity of Coal-Fired Power Generation in China

On 15th June 2016 IISD hosted a webinar on the “Future of Coal in China”, including Lauri Myllyvirta, Greenpeace; Dr.Liu Qiang, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; and Peter Wooders, Richard Bridle and Hongxia Duan, Global Subsidies Initiative. One of the key topics of discussion was growing overcapacity of coal fired electricity generators. This blog examines the topic in more detail.

How Much Again? The Cost of All Subsidies to the Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Plant Should be Reviewed

As the UK Government considers whether to proceed with the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, it should weigh the full cost of the project to the public purse. This involves tallying up the full cost of at least five separate subsidies.

Indonesia Approves Revised 2016 Budget: Subsidy update

On 28 June, Indonesia’s government and parliament reached consensus on the revised state budget for 2016. The budget is an important indicator for Indonesia’s subsidies to fossil fuels in the year ahead. This blog provides an overview. 

How are governments encouraged to initiate subsidy reform? Through research!

Delhi—4 May— The Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) recently organized a ministerial-level event in Delhi entitled “National Dialogue on Subsidies for Energy Access.” The event was organized in cooperation with the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) on 4 May, 2016.

How Subsidies for Kerosene are Holding Back Solar Power in India

Kerosene is used by millions of households in rural India to meet basic lighting needs, and subsidies have long been used to make the fuel more affordable. But for health, safety and environmental reasons, a switch to solar power is better—and more affordable in the absence of kerosene subsidies.