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Past Events & Webinars

Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Public Finance and Leveraging Investment for Sustainable Energy via SWAPs (Nordic Clean Energy Week)

Fossil fuel subsidies increase energy consumption and act as a barrier to clean energy technologies. As part of the Nordic Clean Energy Week, this event will discuss the potential for reform of fossil fuel subsidies and reallocation of a proportion of the savings to fund the transition to clean energy.

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COP 23: Reforming Energy Subsidies - a Comprehensive Approach

Subsidies to fossil fuels are a barrier to sustainable climate smart development. But rooting them out has proven to be a complex endeavor, with many political and social challenges. The event will highlight the need for a comprehensive approach to reforming energy subsidies laid out in ESMAP’s forthcoming Energy Subsidy Reform Assessment Framework. A panel of government officials from across the world will discuss how to navigate this complex process of implementing such reforms.  This is an FFSR side event at COP 23.

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COP 23: Financing Paris and the SDGs through Fuel Subsidy Reform and Taxation - Country Best Practice

Practical country and international efforts to remove fossil fuel subsidies and invest in renewables, public transport and energy efficiency. Phasing out USD 500 billion subsidies and introduction of fuel taxation has emissions reduction potential of 23% and liberates finance for sustainable energy. This is an FFSR side event at COP 23.

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COP 23: Supporting implementation of the NDCs - The role of carbon pricing and fiscal policies

Fiscal policies such as carbon pricing and fossil fuel subsidy reform can mobilise revenues for climate finance and provide a cost-effective approach to reducing GHG emissions. The role of such instruments in supporting climate action is increasingly recognized and over 90 countries included some form of fiscal policies in their NDCs. This event examines the role of carbon pricing and fiscal policies in implementing the NDCs. It will bring together a panel of experts to discuss countries' commitments on fiscal policies in their NDCs, challenges faced and what still needs to be done to meet the Paris targets. This is an FFSR side event at COP 23.

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The Uncertain Transition Away From Coal—Stories from China and the United States

IISD's Global Subsidies Initiative will be at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. to discuss opportunities and pitfalls of a transition away from coal mining. The discussion will focus on the transition in Shanxi, one of China's three main coal-mining regions, and the lessons China can draw from countries that have undergone the economic and social transition away from coal.

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The Future of Coal in China: Webinar

In this webinar, speakers from IISD, Greenpeace and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences discussed the cost of subsidies to coal in China, the current overcapacity in the coal sector and the development of a bubble of overcapacity of coal generation. Richard Bridle presented the research from IISD examining the subsidies provided to coal generators and coal producers—around CNY 120 billion and CNY 34 billion respe

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Building a Sustainable Electricity Sector in China

In 2014 China cut coal use for the first time in more than half a century while investments in renewable energy increased by a reported 39% to US$ 83 billion. To discuss the ongoing shift from coal to renewable energy in China, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the International Forum on Clean Energy (IFCE) will host an event in Beijing on 16th September. The event will include experts from government agencies, academia and civil society.

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Maximizing Contributions to Emissions Mitigation From Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform

Lima—December 10—The Global Subsidies Initiative is organizing an event on "Maximizing Contributions to Emissions Mitigation from Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform" on December 10, 15:00-16:30, CoP 20, Machu Picchu Room.  According to the International Energy Agency, subsidies to fossil fuels totalled around $548 billion in 2013, which is more than four times the value of global subsidies to renewable energy—it is also mor

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Irrigation Subsidies: How to Turn From the Overuse of Water and Energy to Sustainability?

Stockholm—1st September—IISD, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources and KfW Development Bank are co-organising a seminar at the World Water Week in Stockholm. The seminar brings together a range of international experts to discuss the effects of fuel and energy subsidies on water consumption and how to reform these. The price of energy is a strong driver of groundwater extraction.

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GSI International Civil Society Dialogue: Building a Network for Action on Fossil-Fuel Subsidies

London—1-2nd September—The Global Subsidies Initiative is coordinating an international dialogue with civil society organisations (CSOs) on fossil-fuel subsidies, ahead of the Climate Summit in New York. This two-day dialogue will be a chance for non-governmental organizations, civil society groups, consumer associations, foundations and research institutions to come together to learn more and plan how to support go

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COP19 Side-Event: Reaping Emissions Reductions from Fossil- Fuel Subsidy Reform

The benefits of fossil-fuel subsidy reform are well established. Eliminating harmful fossil-fuel subsidies improves country fiscal balances, minimizes market distortions, encourages private investment, reduces the disproportionate accrual of subsidies to wealthier sectors of society, and frees up scarce public resources for better uses.

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Training Workshop on Fossil-Fuel Subsidies in Indonesia

To discuss the role of energy subsidies in meeting Indonesia’s energy needs sustainably, the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Global Subsidies Initiative and 350.org East Asia held two-day in-depth training workshops in Yogyakarta (October 9-10, 2012) and Surabaya (October 12-13, 2012). The workshops catered to a range of civil society groups, including environmental or social campaigners, commu

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Workshop: Getting to Grips with the Pros and Cons of Higher Diesel Prices in India

On August 28th, 2012, the IISD-GSI and TERI organised a workshop to brief media and selected civil society organisations on the key findings and policy recommendations of a joint research project, and to facilitate a discussion amongst journalists on key issues relevant to their reporting of fuel subsidy reforms. As India’s economic growth slows, there is increasing pressure to reduce high-levels of spending on subs

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GSI Side-Event - Overcoming Barriers to Subsidy Reform for a Greener Economy

RIO DE JANEIRO - 19 June 2012 - Each year, enormous sums are spent on subsidies that undermine sustainable development. Globally, over US$ 2 billion is spent each day subsidizing fossil fuels, agriculture and fisheries. Subsidies to fossil fuels undermine global efforts to combat catastrophic climate change, and are widely acknowledged as an ineffective instrument for supporting the poor. Subsidies to agriculture encourage over-production and are enormously trade distorting. And subsidies to fisheries have contributed to the depletion of fish stocks, the majority of which are over-exploited.

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Side-Event - Are biofuel subsidies ready to shift?

RIO DE JANEIRO –19 June 2012 – The GSI report State of Play on Biofuel Subsidies: Are policies ready to shift?was launched at a special discussion on biofuel subsidies organized by Nestlé S.A. on the Business Day at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20.

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GSI Side-Event - Building Momentum on Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform at Rio and Beyond

NEW YORK - 26 March 2012 - The Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform group and the IISD’s Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) convened a side event to the ongoing Rio negotiations, Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform: Building Momentum at Rio and Beyond. Chaired by New Zealand, the event set out to discuss why and how fossil-fuel subsidy reform could be advanced at Rio+20 and in other fora.

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GSI Side-Event - The Missing Piece? Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and Climate Change

DURBAN - 7 December 2011 - As a side-event at the UNFCCC's 17th Conference of Parties, the GSI and the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform convened a high-level discussion The Missing Piece? Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and Climate Change. The event brought together responsible ministers and other high-level government representatives from Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as energy subsidy experts from all over the world. The discussion focused on the current state of global efforts to reform fossil-fuel subsidies and possible pathways going forward, including opportunities for integrating reform with national and international climate-change policies.

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GSI Workshop - Reforming Energy Subsidies in Indonesia: Status, Challenges, and Impacts

JAKARTA – 5 July 2011 – In an effort to improve public awareness on the options and impacts of energy subsidy reform in Indonesia, the IISD’s Global Subsidies Initiative, the Trade Knowledge Network (TKN) and the Institute for Essential Services Reform convened a one-day workshop for civil society to assess the government of Indonesia’s strategies for reforming fuel subsidies. Indonesia has some of the highest energ

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GSI Seminar - The Hidden Costs of Fuel Subsidies in India

Mumbai – 8 March 2011 – Trillions of rupees are spent each year in India to keep down the price of fuel. In most cases, these policies have been introduced in an effort to stabilize prices and keep fuel affordable for the poor.

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Awareness-Raising Seminar on Irrigation Subsidies in the Mediterranean

MADRID – 21 February 2011 − To raise awareness of the importance of irrigation subsidies, their significance in achieving sustainable water management, and in responding to future issues such as climate change, the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) with the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation held a one-day seminar, The importance of the irrigation sector for all: a seminar on irrigation subsidies in the northern Mediterranean, in order to bring together journalists, media representatives, researchers and experts from international organizations, NGOs, universities and the agricultural sector.

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Seminar on Spain's Irrigation Subsidies

MADRID − 18 October 2010 − Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos − The GSI invited the general public to join a discussion on the crucial issues surrounding the measurement and analysis of irrigation subsidies at the launch of the study Measuring Irrigation Subsidies in Spain - An Application of the GSI Method for Quantifying Subsidies. The event was chaired by IISD President, Franz Tattenbach, with the f

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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.

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COP 15 Global Subsidies Initiative side-event: "Phasing out Fossil-Fuel Subsidies: Moving from Rhetoric to Reform"

Location: Mount Everest 3 Room, Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers Hotel, Orestads Blvd 114-118 - Copenhagen Though long overdue, the issue of fossil-fuel subsidies suddenly became the focus of international attention when G-20 leaders, meeting in Pittsburgh on 24-25 September 2009, agreed to phase out such subsidies over the medium term.

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GSI Seminar - Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform at COP-15

COPENHAGEN - 14 December 2009 - The Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) invites speakers and observers from a range of Group of Twenty (G-20) governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as the private sector, to focus on how the G-20's September 2009 political commitment to phase out fossil-fuel subsidies can be translated into effective reform. While the underlying rationale is tremendously compelling and the goal patently clear, the challenge now lies in implementation: collecting the data, countering political reticence and resistance from entrenched interests, and softening the impact of higher energy prices on the poor.

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Media Forum: Bangkok, Thailand

BANGKOK - 23-24 July 2009 - In partnership with the Southeast Asia bureau of the Inter Press Service, the GSI held its fifth media forum, bringing together 13 journalists from across the region and a variety of energy and climate change experts. The forum featured an ambitious agenda that centered on energy and climate change policies in South East Asia.

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Media Forum: Pretoria, South Africa

PRETORIA - 3-4 November 2008 - In partnership with the South Africa Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA), the Trade Knowledge Network (TKN), and the Inter Press Service (IPS), the GSI convened a media forum for journalists in Southern Africa.

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Irrigation subsidy methodology workshop

The Global Subsidies Initiative, in partnership with The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), is holding a two-day workshop to discuss a common methodology for measuring irrigation subsidies. The aim is help build consensus on a methodology to define irrigation subsidies in a way that is technically sound and realistic, while taking into account wide variations in the availability of data.

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Media Forum: Alexandria, Egypt

ALEXANDRIA - 17-19 April 2008 - The GSI drew together journalists to its third regional media forum in Egypt, focused on food security and the role that biofuel policies play in driving up food prices. Journalists from across the Middle East heard from a variety of regional and international experts, on the factors that were contributing to sky-rocketing food prices.

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Media Forum: Alajuela, Costa Rica

ALAJUELA - 27-29 March 2008 - In partnership with the INCAE Business School and the Inter Press Service (IPS) Latin America, the GSI held its second regional media forum in Costa Rica. Some 15 journalists from across Latin America were briefed on the role that subsidies have played as the primary instrument in promoting the biofuels sector.

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8th Global Conference on Environmental Taxation

The theme of the 8th Global Conference on Environmental Taxation 2007 (GCET), organized this year by Green Budget Germany, is Innovation, Technology and Employment: Impacts of Environmental Fiscal Reforms and Other Market-Based Instruments.

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WTO Public Forum 2007: "How Can the WTO Help Harness Globalization?"

The World Trade Organization's Public Forum is intended to provide civil society, academics and the public at large with an opportunity to debate with WTO Members how the WTO can best contribute to the management of globalization. This year's forum, entitled "How Can the WTO Help Harness Globalization?", features two-days of presentations and discussions related to international trade and development.

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26th European Agricultural Outlook

Agra Informa Ltd., a company that specializes in information on agriculture and food policy, markets and trade, is hosting its 26th European Agricultural Outlook Conference this year in London on 27 - 28 March 2007. The conference will offer analysis of the challenges and opportunities ahead for the European food industry and agribusiness, with representatives from government, agriculture and the food industry.

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Media Forum: Mumbai, India

On March 26-28, 2007, the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) and the Forum of Environmental Journalists of India (FEJI) organized a media forum in Mumbai, India. The forum, which brought together 25 journalists from across India, focused on the role of subsidies in contributing to the agrarian crisis in India, with particular reference to the suicides of farmers.

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Farmsubsidy.org Conference

Farmsubsidy.org is planning to hold a two-day conference on Transparency in European Union Farm Subsidies in Budapest, Hungary in January. The conference will assemble current participants in the Farmsubsidy.org network and people who would like to become involved in promoting greater transparency in European Union agricultural policies.

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Ethanol: Boon or Boondoggle?

WASHINGTON DC - 8 November 2006 - The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy notes that ethanol is being held up as a solution to a number of public policy concerns, including reducing conventional air pollutants, minimizing greenhouse-gas emissions, ending foreign oil dependency, reinvigorating the family farm, as well as a host of other ethanol-fueled dreams. In an effort to shed light on a policy issue consuming increasing sums of taxpayer dollars in research and subsidies to ethanol producers, panelists at this conference will examine the benefits and detriments of ethanol fuel.

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Seventh Annual Global Conference on Environmental Taxation

Hosted by the University of Ottawa, the Environmental Taxation Conference is an annual gathering of leading international experts in law, economics, tax and accounting, political sciences, environmental policy and more who will present the latest research findings about how economic instruments can be used to advance sustainable development.

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World Trade Organization Public Forum

The World Trade Organization's Sixth Annual Public Forum will bring together representatives from governments, parliaments, civil society, the business sector and the media to ponder the theme What WTO for the 21st Century? The Forum will feature an opening plenary session, followed by working panels that will address the existing imbalances in the multilateral trading system.

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World water week and Reforming Fisheries and Aquaculture

The annual World Water Week in Stockholm seeks to provide a meeting place for capacity-building, partnership-building and follow-up on the implementation of international processes and programmes in water and development. The meeting is intended for experts from businesses, governments, the water management and science sectors, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs, research and training institutions, and UN Agencies. Our readers may be interested in a session on Thursday 24 August, which will address economic incentives and sanctions to promote best practice and performance.

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