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SUBSIDY WATCH BLOG

Explore news, commentary and analysis related to subsidies and sustainable development.

United Arab Emirates Reforms Fossil Fuel Subsidies

In January 2015, Suhail Al Mazroui, the Minister of Energy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced that lifting energy subsidies was 'just a matter of time'. Six months on, that time appears to have come. On 22 July, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government announced that the prices of gasoline and diesel will be deregulated from 1 August.

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Blog: Eliminating Fossil Fuel Subsidies Still on the Agenda – The International Community Must Now Walk the Talk

The international community reaffirmed commitments on Thursday 16th July 2015, within the Addis Ababa Action Agenda "to rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption ..."  and "phasing out those harmful subsidies". Fossil fuel subsidy removal remains on the agenda and is as important as ever when governments are squeezed for fiscal space and domestic resource mobilisation.

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Blog: High-Level Event on Fossil Fuel Subsidies and the Link to Clean and Affordable Energy

It is ever clearer that fossil fuel subsidies are detrimental to sustainable development. However, in a time of historic low oil prices, the gap between international oil prices and consumer energy prices has narrowed dramatically, thus offering countries a huge window of opportunity to phase-out these subsidies. For this and many other reasons, the elimination of these subsidies continue to make global headlines.

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Blog: Fossil Fuel Subsidy Events at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings

Washington—16-17 April—The Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) supported a group of 8 countries―known as the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (Friends)―in organizing two high-level events at the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. The Friends group consists of Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

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DBTL is not Subsidy Reform

In August 2014, the newly-elected National Democratic Alliance (NDA) administration announced the reintroduction of the previous government’s then-suspended ‘Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG’ (DBTL) programme to distribute LPG subsidies by bank transfer, while retaining (against the recommendations of both the petroleum and finance ministries, and despite extensive media speculation) the annual cylinder cap per household first instituted (but twice raised) by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) administration at its existing level. 

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Energy Empowerment Programme Launched at IISD Offices

Geneva—11-13 February—Last week the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the IISD Energy programme helped launch a new gender and energy initiative organised by ENERGIA and funded by UKDFID in Geneva at the IISD offices with 30 consortium participants.  The IISD programme will focus on energy empowerment, energy sector reform and impacts for gender.

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Blog: REN21’s 10-year Anniversary Academy Explores Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and Renewable Energy

‘100% renewables by 2050’ was the driving theme of the Academy REN21 held in Bonn 10-12 November 2014 to celebrate its 10 years driving networks to promote the deployment of renewable energy. Speakers—including Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Christine Lins, Executive Secretary of REN21—noted how the amount of renewables now deployed to generate electricity was far in excess of projections made in 2004 when REN21 was set up.  A straw poll of the 180 delegates showed a clear majority who believed that 100% Renewables by 2050 was achievable. This is now the focus of a number of campaigns, for example the “Go 100% Renewables Campaign”. Speakers remarked how quickly this concept and target had moved into the mainstream.

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Indian Energy Pricing: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

On Saturday 18th October the Indian Government announced a series of policy decisions in relation to energy, including decontrol of diesel pricing, revision of natural gas prices on a market-linked basis, and proposed changes to domestic LPG subsidy entitlements and delivery mechanisms. This package of measures, presented as a reflection of the new NDA administration’s reformist intent, represents a complex mix of continuity and change in relation to the previous UPA government’s policies, with important implications (both positive and negative) for the future direction of Indian energy policy.

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New Report Calls G20 to Account on Exploration Subsidies

In the run-up to the G20 summit on 15 and 16 November, 2014 in Brisbane, Australia, the international environmental community is calling on G20 Leaders to account on fossil fuel subsidies. G20’s commitment to “phase out, over medium-term, inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption” made the news in 2009, that is five years ago.

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