Untangling the Subsidies Knot: A Panel Discussion of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform

By Peter Wooders, Dave Sawyer on March 18, 2014

By some estimates, Canadian governments spend as much as $2.6 billion annually on fossil fuel subsidies. Reforming these subsidies may have merit on both environmental and economic grounds. Yet the process of determining the extent and impact of subsidies, and how to change them, is both analytically and politically tricky. There is no straightforward path for parsing public and private interests.

With limited government resources, could alternative uses of public dollars lead to a greater public good?

On October 2, 2013, IISD and Sustainable Prosperity hosted a lively discussion of the why and how of fossil fuel subsidy reform. IISD experts Peter Wooders and Dave Sawyer presented on "Moving Ahead on Reform" and "Fossil Fuel Subsidies in the Canadian Oil and Gas Sector."

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3



Powerpoint presentations:



Energy Subsidies — Moving ahead on reform, Peter Wooders, Senior Economist, IISD & Programme Leader, Global Subsidies Initiative

A Carbon Price is Good, But a Zero Carbon Price is a Better Start: Fossil-Fuel Subsidies in the Canadian Oil and Gas Sector, David Sawyer