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Reforming fossil fuel subsidies would save governments billions of dollars while also significantly reducing greenhouse emissions and incentivizing cleaner forms of energy and energy efficiency. Though long overdue, this potentially transformative issue suddenly reached international consensus with the announcement by G-20 leaders, meeting in Pittsburgh on 24-25 September 2009, that they intended to phase out subsidies to fossil fuels over the medium term.
The challenge lies in implementation. The event will bring together speakers and observers from a range of G-20 governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as the private sector, to focus on how the political commitment to phase out fossil-fuel subsidies can be translated into effective reform. Moderated by IISD's Mark Halle, the event will build upon analysis and insight gained through IISD's Global Subsidies Initiative's work on fossil-fuel subsidies.
15:00 Opening remarks by Mark Halle (moderator), Executive Director, IISD-Europe: The building blocks of fossil-fuel subsidies reform
15:20 The perspective of Finance Ministries in fossil-fuel subsidies reform, Per Callesen Deputy Permanent Secretary, Danish Ministry of Finance
15:30 National approaches to developing and implementing strategies for reforming fossil-fuel subsidies, William A. Pizer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy, U.S. Department of the Treasury
15:40 National approaches to developing and implementing strategies for reforming fossil-fuel subsidies, Andrew Dobbie, Department of Energy and Climate Change, United Kingdom
15:50 Overcoming challenges: the political challenges of energy reform and protecting the poor, former President of Costa Rica, José Maria Figueres Olsen, Founder of the Global Observatory
16:00 The role of international organizations in supporting reform efforts, Helen Mountford, Acting Deputy Director, Environment Directorate, OECD
16:10 The role of international organizations in supporting reform efforts, Fatih Birol, Chief Economist, International Energy Agency
16:20-17:00 Questions and discussion
*Participants will need to have previously registered or have COP15 badges for entry.
For more information, please contact IISD media and communication officer Nona Pelletier
(For local calls during COP15 in Copenhagen, please phone 53 97 61 23 until December 18, 2009)
IISD contributes to sustainable development by advancing policy recommendations on international trade and investment, economic policy, climate change and energy, natural and social capital, and the enabling role of communication technologies in these areas.