Article Series: Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Fossil Fuel Policy Briefs

Policy briefs on fossil-fuel subsidies and strategies for reform. 

Research Type: 

Building on Momentum: Recommendations from the GSI for Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform at the G20

This policy brief examines progress against the G20 commitment to phase out inefficient and wasteful fossil fuel subsidies, the increasing momentum behind subsidy reform in international processes and the steps needed to ensure that the G20's commitment is met. 

Prioritizing Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform in the UNFCCC Process: Recommendations for Short-Term Actions

This policy brief addresses the importance of fossil-fuel subsidy reform in the context of meeting global climate change mitigation goals, elaborates on the concrete actions Parties can take to progress reform, and describes how efforts under the auspices of the UNFCCC will complement similar work in other international forums.

Recent Developments in Iran's Energy Subsidy Reforms

In 2010, Iran undertook bold economic reforms to phase out energy subsidies. This policy brief outlines recent developments since the reforms were implemented and sheds some light on how the reforms – once referred to as the country’s “grand economic surgery” – have affected Iran.

Rio+20: A Pledge to Phase Out Fossil-Fuel Subsidies

IISD has proposed a national pledge for U.N. member countries to phase out fossil-fuel subsidies that undermine sustainable development.

We "Ask Your Government!" How Much Fossil-Fuel Subsidies Cost

In 2010, the International Budget Partnership (IBP) asked governments, “What was the total amount actually incurred during the past three fiscal years on subsidies for oil, gas and coal production and consumption?” How did they respond?

Delivering on G-20 Commitments: The Path to Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform

This brief summarizes what the G-20 has done to reform fossil-fuel subsidies, up to and including the G-20 Toronto Summit in June 2010. It also outlines a roadmap for the phase out of fossil-fuel subsidies into the future.

A How-to Guide: Measuring Subsidies to Fossil-Fuel Producers

This policy brief identifies how different types of subsidy can be measured using different methodologies, particularly fossil-fuel producer subsidies. It is the second stage in the GSI's recommended 3-step process for planning subsidy reform: define, measure and evaluate. Where relevant, it refers readers to the GSI's in-depth technical manual, Subsidy Estimation: A Survey of Current Practice

Delivering on The G-20 Commitment to Reform Fossil-Fuel Subsidies: Essential Outcomes From Toronto

This policy brief summarizes G-20 country activity since the Pittsburgh Summit and what needs to be done next. It focuses in particular on the outcomes that need to result from the Toronto Summit on 26-27 June 2010.

Defining Fossil-Fuel Subsidies for The G-20: Which Approach Is Best?

The G-20's efforts to progress fossil-fuel subsidy reform have revived an old debate: what is a subsidy? In this policy brief, the GSI recommends a three-step process to define, measure and evaluate subsidies, beginning with a broad definition that covers preferential treatment in all its forms.

Building Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform: Have We Got All The Blocks?

This policy brief outlines the building blocks needed to implement a multilateral program to reform fossil-fuel subsidies on a global scale.

Car-Scrapping Schemes: An Effective Economic Rescue Policy?

This policy brief assesses the performance of car-scrapping schemes in Germany, Spain, France, the U.K. and the U.S. against their stated policy objectives.

Achieving The G-20 Call to Phase Out Subsidies to Fossil Fuels

Following the September 2009 Pittsburgh Summit, this policy brief explores what G-20 countries need to do to follow through on their commitment to phase out fossil-fuel subsidies.