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SUBSIDY WATCH BLOG

Explore news, commentary and analysis related to subsidies and sustainable development.

Blog: How Indonesia Might Turn Its Back on a Future of Cheaper Renewable Electricity

Short-term gain can lead to long-term pain. This might be the case with Indonesia’s recent decision to bet on coal as its preferred source to supply reliable and affordable electricity. Indonesia’s decision comes at a time when the rest of the world is moving in the opposite direction: countries are increasingly switching from coal to renewables and encouraging competition between power generators to obtain the best prices.

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Blog: The True Cost of Coal and Renewables in Indonesia

Indonesia is facing an energy crunch as demand for electricity rises across the country. The country is one of the world’s largest coal producers, and is developing plans for an additional 35 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power stations. Proponents of the development claim that coal is the cheapest source of energy available.

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Blog: Change Makers Leap Forward as Momentum for Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Grows

There is a pressing “need for faster reform, urgency and political commitment.”[1] These were the opening highlights of the fifth high-level event on fossil fuel subsidy reform, organized by the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (“Friends”), Global Subsidies Initiative and the World Bank on April 21, in the context of the 2017 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings held in Washington, D.C.

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Blog: A Low-Hanging Fruit for Financing and Implementing SDGs: End Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Phase-out and reallocation of fossil fuel subsidies (FFS) is a low-hanging fruit for financing and implementing SDGs. First, it has a diverse support base of both sustainable development advocates and “government downsizers.” Second, instead of requiring financing like many sustainable development policies, it could free up hundreds of billions of dollars for implementing multiple SDGs.

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A Solar Journey: Reaching the remotest villages

​The absence of a road initiated a journey to a remote village located in a forest in Odisha, India. The village, Sarda Gram Panchayat, is actually a cluster of five villages and is located in a dense forest near the Sambalpur District of Odisha. The remoteness of the villages has severed ties to development work—energy access, education, health facilities and other services all have hit a roadblock.

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Learning from Leaders: How experts shed light on fossil fuel subsidy reform at COP 22

Cooperative, non-market and country-led—that was the order of the day when it came to fossil fuel subsidy reform (FFSR) at the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) from November 7–19 in Marrakech, Morocco. Across the two weeks, the conference attracted some 22,500 participants, and there were several side events held in English and French on the issue of FFSR (a full listing is available here). Events and discussions covering FFSR focused on early action and implementation of the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies given the current window of opportunity afforded by low oil prices. They addressed lowering the total value of fossil fuel subsidies to consumers, reducing the cost to governments of reform, as well as efforts to phase out upstream subsidies to fossil fuel producers.

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Naked Budgets: A fiscal argument to save the climate

Two news stories this week, emerging from either side of the Atlantic, encapsulate the climate change conundrum. The message coming from hundreds of civil society organizations, scientists and policy-makers gathered at the climate change conference in Marrakech (COP 22) has been the fact that, in order to keep climate change within 2 degrees, three quarters of the known reserves of oil, gas and coal need to stay in the ground.

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Commentary: Winter Approaches: The Real Test for Ukraine's Energy Subsidy Reforms

In the past few weeks and months, Ukrainian media has been peppered with diametrically opposed pieces of analysis and commentary on energy pricing and energy subsidy reform. On one side, the central government, with the support of international donors, as well as Naftogaz, the national gas supplier, is running an information campaign on why energy subsidy reform is a much-needed move for Ukraine. On the other side, there are continued reports of city councils and populist parties' activists protesting against the “unconstitutional” decision of the central government to increase tariffs for gas and electricity according to an accelerated schedule.

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