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Side event in the margins of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2019, co-sponsored by Costa Rica, New Zealand, Switzerland, Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform, IISD/Global Subsidies Initiative and UNEP.


Fossil-fuel subsidy reform is the missing piece of the climate change jigsaw and governments must deliver global actions to decrease emissions as we head towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

It is important to note that in Copenhagen (2009/COP15) industrialized countries have committed to a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries, and this from a variety of sources.

This effort is laudable but it pales in comparison to the continued subsidizing of fossil fuels. These subsidies have, over the last years, amounted to between USD 400 and 800 billion dollars annually.

Fossil-fuel subsidies do not only go counter the global efforts to fight climate change – their removal contributes therefore to reaching SDG13 (Climate Action). Fossil fuel subsidies contradict indeed the spirit of a number of SDGs, including SDG3 (Health) and SDG7 (Energy).

In addition, removing inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies fosters the creation of an enabling environment with regard to – among other important aspects – a supportive framework for low-carbon investment.

Moreover, removing inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies has the potential to mobilize considerable domestic sources, away from subsidies for fossil fuels and towards funding SDGs.

In summary, removing inefficient fossil fuel subsidies contributes considerably to achieve the goals of the Agenda 2030.

The side event will:

  • Provide incentives in how to implement fossil fuel subsidy reform with a link to reach the SDGs, i.e. SDG13 and beyond.
  • Demonstrate the wide-ranging positive impact of fossil fuel subsidy reform for climate action.
  • Clearly establish the negative impact of fossil fuel subsidies, which go counter a wide variety of SDGs.


Moderation and opening remarks

  • Mr. Jacques Ducrest, Delegate of the Swiss Federal Council for Sustainable Development, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Introductory remarks

  • Ms. Vanessa Corkal, Policy Analyst Energy and Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI): “Converting FFSR into Opportunities for Climate Action”.

Panel Discussion - “Sharing challenges and opportunities of FFSR in the frame of the Agenda 2030”

  • H.E. Mr. Rodrigo A. Carazo, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations
  • H.E. Mr. Craig Hawke, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations
  • Mr. Satya Tripathi, Assistant Secretary General, Head of UNEP’s New York Office
  • Ms. Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, Director of the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG)
  • Mr. Prof. Peter Messerli, Co-Chair UN Global Sustainable Development Report, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Bern

Closing remarks by

  • Ms. Vanessa Corkal, Policy Analyst Energy and Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI): “Converting FFSR into Opportunities for Climate Action”.

Practical information

Wednesday 10th of July 2019 | 13:15-14:30 | Conference Room A, UN Headquarters | 405 East 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10017, USA


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