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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.

  • Paper
    Shining a Light on Fossil Fuel Subsidies at the WTO: How NGOs can contribute to WTO notification and surveillance

    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.

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  • Video
    Webinar: Zombie Energy: Climate benefits of ending subsidies to fossil fuel production

    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.

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  • Paper
    Zombie Energy: Climate benefits of ending subsidies to fossil fuel production

    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.

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