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Subsidies

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With over 10 years of experience, the IISD Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) is widely recognized as world-class leader in the quantification, evaluation and reform of subsidies.

Governments around the world spend at least a trillion dollars a year on subsidies to exploit the world's natural resources. But faced with increasing fiscal constraints, and concerned about making their economies cleaner, more inclusive and stable, governments are under increasing pressure to change course.

GSI works closely with governments to help them move away from subsidies that hinder sustainability. The goal is to encourage individual governments to undertake unilateral reforms on subsidy policy where these would deliver clear economic, environmental and social benefits. GSI also aims to generate a consensus in the World Trade Organization and in other forums on the need to take resolute, ongoing and systematic action to reduce or eliminate subsidies that are trade-distorting and undermine sustainable development.

  • Blog
    Making the International Trade System Work for Climate Change:  Five Ways to Address Fossil Fuel Subsidies through the WTO and International Trade Agreements

    Making the International Trade System Work for Climate Change: Five Ways to Address Fossil Fuel Subsidies through the WTO and International Trade Agreements

    Can the international trade system be a catalyst for reforming fossil fuel subsidies (FFSs) to help relieve the burden on the public purse, reduce local and global air pollution, improve energy security and tackle climate change? 

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  • Report
    Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and the Just Transition: Integrating approaches for complementary outcomes

    Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and the Just Transition: Integrating approaches for complementary outcomes

    This paper goes into detail about the various ways in which FFSR can be consistent with just transition. The scale of current fossil fuel subsidies in the world coupled with the massive financial needs for transition are early indicators of the benefits of approaching FFSR with just transition in mind. 

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  • Report
    India's Energy Transition: Mapping subsidies to fossil fuels and clean energy in India

    India's Energy Transition: Mapping subsidies to fossil fuels and clean energy in India

    This report maps out the context, magnitude, trends and impacts of India’s energy subsidies. It aims to enhance transparency and dialogue on energy choices in India and to help track shifts in government support from fossil fuels to renewables.

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  • Blog
    Ending Coal: From diplomacy to implementation

    Ending Coal: From diplomacy to implementation

    We need to bring an end to coal—in a sustainable and economically inclusive way. Ivetta Gerasimchuk explains how.

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  • Report
    Gender and Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform: An audit of data on energy subsidies, energy use and gender in Indonesia

    Gender and Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform: An audit of data on energy subsidies, energy use and gender in Indonesia

    This study provides an initial investigation into LPG subsidies and their reform and gender in Indonesia by examining the available data on household use of energy and relevant gender issues.

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  • Briefing Note
    India Energy Subsidy October 2017

    India Energy Subsidy October 2017

    A briefing on issues related to energy subsidies, energy policy and sustainable development in India. 

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  • Discussion Paper
    Case Study: What is the true cost of coal in Central Java?

    Case Study: What is the true cost of coal in Central Java?

    PLN expects to expand coal power capacity in Central Java, which is in the centre of Indonesia's economic corridor. But are PLN plans realistic and what will this cost—not just the cost to rate-payers, but also in terms of impacts on climate change and air pollution? Are there alternatives to these developments? 

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  • Guidebook
    A Guidebook to Reviews of Fossil Fuel Subsidies: From self-reports to peer learning

    A Guidebook to Reviews of Fossil Fuel Subsidies: From self-reports to peer learning

    This guidebook provides a step-by-step approach to government reviews of fossil fuel subsidies. The guidebook covers the design of reviews, identification, measurement and evaluation of subsidies, via country case studies and practical tools, as a first step towards transparency and reform.

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  • Policy Brief
    Kerosene to Solar Swap Policy Brief 3: Sustainable Lighting Solutions for Rural Homes in India

    Kerosene to Solar Swap Policy Brief 3: Sustainable Lighting Solutions for Rural Homes in India

    This policy brief analyzes the current policy environment governing kerosene and off-grid solar use. It sets out a suite of detailed policy interventions that can be implemented to achieve a systemic transition from kerosene to solar for lighting in rural India.

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  • Policy Brief
    Kerosene to Solar Swap Policy Brief 2: Building a Market for Off Grid Solar Lighting

    Kerosene to Solar Swap Policy Brief 2: Building a Market for Off Grid Solar Lighting

    This policy brief looks at the current market situation for off-grid solar technologies in India and the current barriers to an enabling business environment for solar.

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