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.
Shining a Light on Fossil Fuel Subsidies at the WTO: How NGOs can contribute to WTO notification and surveillance
Fossil fuel subsidies undermine efforts to mitigate climate change and damage the trading system. However, multilateral discussion is hampered by inconsistent definitions and incomplete data.Read More
The End of Coal Mining in South Wales: Lessons learned from industrial transformation
The decline of coal mining in South Wales has important lessons for policy-makers and civil society grappling with the challenges of transition—what can be learned from this experience?Read More
Mind the Gap: Fossil Fuel Subsidies Could Fill the SDG Financing Gap
Research suggests that removing all consumer fossil fuel subsidies would decrease global carbon emissions anywhere between 6–8 per cent by 2050. Swapping savings into sustainable energy would improve emissions reductions further.Read More
UK is in no position to lecture Saudis on oil dependence
PM Theresa May has offered to help wean Saudi Arabia off oil, but her government’s subsidies to North Sea producers are a poor model for the Middle East petrostate.Read More
A Low-Hanging Fruit for Financing and Implementing SDGs: End Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Phase-out and reallocation of fossil fuel subsidies (FFS) is a low-hanging fruit for financing and implementing SDGs.Read More
Sticks and Toxic Carrots: Clearing the air in China and India
Both countries can do more to ensure that policies on air pollution and clean energy are aligned.Read More
- Policy Brief
Stopping Payments to Polluters: Clearing the air with fossil fuel subsidy reform in China and India
Improving urban air quality is a headline concern in both India and China. Fossil fuel subsidy reform is a potentially powerful tool in securing an improvement for both countries.Read More
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.Read More
Webinar: Zombie Energy: Climate benefits of ending subsidies to fossil fuel production
On Thursday February 16, 2017, IISD’s Global Subsidies Initiative presented a webinar which convened experts who have crunched the numbers on both fiscal and climate benefits of ending fossil fuel subsidies at the level of countries, markets, and the entire world. This is a recording of that webinar.Read More
Zombie Energy: Climate benefits of ending subsidies to fossil fuel production
This working paper explains how different production subsidies currently unlock “zombie energy” from fossil fuel deposits that would not be commercially viable to produce without government support. It also presents new modelling of the global removal of certain subsidies to fossil fuel production.Read More