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oil pumps at sunset

14 May 2019, 09.30-12.30 | Villa Barton, Room S1, World Trade Organization, Geneva

The Geneva-based Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Centre for Trade and Economic Integration (CTEI) of the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies (IHEID) are convening a second workshop on trade impacts & fossil fuel subsidies. The goal of this workshop is to establish the rationale for international cooperation on subsidies to fossil fuels, as a contribution to addressing the broader problem of their overproduction and over-consumption. We aim at testing different views on the extent to which various WTO frameworks might be appropriate as the basis for collective disciplines on fossil fuel subsidies, and what aspects of the fossil fuel subsidy problem WTO rules-based disciplines might be best able to address.

This workshop follows the joint conference on "Trade Impacts of Fossil Fuel Subsidies," organized on 05 October 2018. Several experts from academia, country missions, OECD, IMF, World Bank, UNEP and UNFCCC contributed to this workshop to explore, conceptualize and measure the impacts of various types of fossil fuel consumption and production subsidies on international trade. Findings of this workshop will be published in 2019 in a special issue of World Trade Review. This 2nd Expert Workshop will be held under strict Chatham House rules.


9.30–9.50 – State of play: what has already been done (diplomatically and in studies)

  • Overview of MC11, MC12, SDG Indicator 12.c.1, APEC & G20 peer reviews
  • Brief review of countries’ fossil fuel subsidy reform progress to date
  • Overview of challenges related to transparency
  • Framing of the international cooperation needed to move beyond unilateral efforts

9.5–10.30 What is the policy problem we are trying to address?

  • Current state of overproduction and over-consumption of fuels
  • Scale, trade impacts, environmental impacts
  • Types of fossil fuel subsidies and how to differentiate between them
  • Discussion

10.30–11:00 To what extent might the WTO’s framework of rules be useful?

  • Suitability of the ASCM framework for rules as the basis for new disciplines
  • Review of WTO cases on subsidies
  • Lessons from negotiation of sector-specific subsidy rules (fisheries, agriculture)
  • Discussion

11.00–11:20 Coffee Break

11.20–11.50 Anonymous interactive survey: on WTO framework-based disciplines–

  • Survey on where WTO framework-based disciplines could be most useful
  • Presentation of Mentimeter matrix and questions, collection & presentation of results
  • Discussion

11.50–12:10 Inclusivity vs effectiveness: Options for new disciplines

  • Multilateral & plurilateral options to form a fuel subsidy agreement
  • Potential suitability for addressing different kinds of fossil fuel subsidies
  • Potential scope: Trade impacts, environmental impacts
  • Discussion

12.10–12.30 Wrap up, next steps, close


Please register here.

For further information or queries contact Tom Moerenhout at [email protected]