GSI Conference - Increasing the Momentum of Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform: Developments and Opportunities
GENEVA − 14-15 October − To facilitate a deeper understanding of the issues, activities and opportunities for international collaboration related to the reform of fossil-fuel subsidies, the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) held a two-day conference, Increasing the Momentum of Fossil‐Fuel Subsidy Reform: Developments and Opportunities, in order to bring together country delegates and experts from international organizations, NGOs, universities and the industrial sector.
The event featured representatives from international organizations such as the OECD, UNEP, World Bank, WTO and OPEC, as well as international fora such as G-20, APEC and the Friends group of countries that support reforming fossil-fuel subsidies, who shared and reviewed their perspectives and activities. It discussed not only the scale and impacts of consumer and producer subsidies, but especially focused on international developments, reform strategies and opportunities for enhanced international cooperation.
The conference report summarises the presentations and discussions of the 2-day conference and includes a resource list of relevant documents and research reports. The presentations are also available below.
- GSI-UNEP Conference Report - Increasing the Momentum of Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform: Developments and Opportunities (PDF - 3.4MB)-
- Conference agenda (PDF - 512KB)
Thursday 14 October
Welcome and opening remarks, including an introduction from WTO Deputy Director-General Harsha V. Singh.
Session 1: Scale and impacts of fossil-fuel subsidies
Chair: Franz Tattenbach, President, IISD
Session 1 discussed the latest research and analysis on the scale and impacts of fossil-fuel subsidies for both consumers and producers. It also considered some of the challenges to identifying and calculating subsidies, collecting data and improving transparency.
- Peter Wooders (Global Subsidies Initiative, IISD) − Scale and Impact of Fossil-Fuel Subsidies: Six key messages (PDF − 666KB)
- Anthony Cox (Environment Directorate, OECD) − Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform: Insights from the OECD input to the G-20 initiative (PDF − 768KB)
- Joerg Spitzy (Research Division, OPEC) − Energy Subsidies in the Context of Sustainable Development (PDF − 447KB)
- Doug Koplow (Earth Track, USA) − Mapping Fossil-Fuel Subsidies: Lessons from case studies of China, Germany, Indonesia and the United States (PDF − 154KB)
- Ronald Steenblik and Jehan Sauvage (Trade & Agriculture Directorate, OECD) − Measuring and Reporting Fossil-Fuel Producer Subsidies in OECD Countries (PDF − 318KB)
- David Braithwaite (PT. Q Energy South East Asia, Indonesia) − Indonesia Case Study: Producer subsidies in oil and gas industry (PDF − 285KB)
Session 2: International political developments
Chair: Jenilee Guebert, G-20 Research Group, University of Toronto
Session 2 gave an update on the recent political developments kick-started by the G-20 commitment to phase out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies. The discussions included what actions forums like the G-20 and the “Friends” group can take next to progress subsidy reform.
- Maria Victoria Lottici (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Culture, Argentina) − Fossil-Fuel Subsidies in the Agenda of the G-20 (PDF − 618KB)
- Mr. Askolani (Director of Centre for State Budget Policy, Indonesia) − Fuel Subsidy Policy in Indonesia (PDF − 2.9MB)
- Vangelis Vitalis (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand) − International Political Developments and the Role of the “Friends” Group in Progressing Subsidy Reform (PDF - 93KB)
- Steve Kretzman (Oil Change International, USA) − Mission Accomplished? Preliminary evaluation of progress on the G-20 process to phase out fossil-fuel subsidies (PDF − 700KB)
Session 3: Political Economy of subsidy reform
Chair: Jörg Frieden, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
Session 3 started to look at some of the key challenges to subsidy reform, particularly domestic political and public opposition, and discussed options for overcoming these challenges.
- Kerryn Lang (Global Subsidies Initiative, IISD) − The Political Economy of Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform (PPT − 2.73MB)
- Oscar Vela (Ministry of Finance, Mexico) − Implementation of Subsidy Reform in Mexico (PDF − 494KB)
- Armin Wagner (German Technical Cooperation (GTZ)) − 3 Dimensions of Fuel Pricing: Political steps and principles of setting effective fuel pricing mechanisms (PPT − 5.85MB)
- Bhamy Shenoy (Mysore Consumer Council, India) − Political Economy of Subsidy Reform in India (PDF − 281KB)
- Bassam Fattouh (Oxford Institute for Energy Studies) − Energy Subsidies in the Middle East: Issues & implications (PDF − 688KB)
Friday 15 October
Session 4: Developing effective reform strategies
Chair: Debapriya Bhattacharya, Former Ambassador of Bangladesh to WTO and Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Dhaka
Session 4 continued to discuss options for overcoming obstacles to reform, and covered different elements of designing and implementing effective subsidy reform strategies.
- Mats Hellström (Former Governor of Stockholm and Former Minister, Sweden) − The Swedish Deregulation of Agriculture and Efforts to Diminish Harmful Subsidies, on Fossil Fuels and Other Matters (PDF − 90.97KB)
- Ruslan Yemtsov (Social Safety Nets Team, World Bank) − Developing Effective Reform Strategies: Safety nets to protect poor and vulnerable groups from the negative impacts of reform (PDF − 3.6MB)
- Jacqueline Cottrell (Green Budget Europe) − Communication Strategies for Subsidy Reform (PDF − 490KB)
- Ahmed Ragab (German Technical Cooperation (GTZ)) − Fossil Fuel Prices in the Arab World and the Fear of Reform: Challenges facing reform attempts and the way forward (PDF − 1.2MB)
Session 5: Opportunities for international collaboration
Chair: Ben Simmons, Economics and Trade Branch, UNEP
Session 5 focused on identifying opportunities for future international collaboration to support national subsidy reform efforts, including a presentation of the GSI’s ‘Roadmap for International Collaboration’.
- Dr. Phyllis Yoshida (APEC Energy Working Group, US) − Phasing Out Fossil-Fuel Subsidies in the Asia Pacific: Foundation for clean energy trade (PDF − 576KB)
- Patrick Low (Head of Economics and Research Division, WTO) − [no slides used]
- Jack Thurston (EU Transparency) − So That's Where the €100 Billion Went (PDF − 8.2MB)
- Peter Wooders (Global Subsidies Initiative, IISD) − A Roadmap for International Collaboration (PDF − 325KB)