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

Commentary: What Can You Afford in a Year Without Fuel Subsidies? Financing Development with the Reallocation of Indonesia’s Gasoline and Diesel Subsidies

For a long time, the international community has talked about the benefits that can be created by removing wasteful fossil-fuel subsidies and freeing up expenditure for more worthwhile things—but little analysis has looked at how this works out in practice.  In large part, this is because so few countries, including among the G-20, have implemented ambitious and successful reforms.

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Blog: Government Subsidies to Fossil Fuels are 22 Times Larger than Government Support to Adaptation on Climate Change

25 May—Bonn, Germany—Over the last two weeks, countries met in Bonn to discuss the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Fiscal instruments—such as fossil fuel subsidy reform, fuel duty and carbon taxation—were raised throughout the meeting, which was supported by the Global Subsidies Initiative of IISD and the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (Friends of FFSR). 

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Blog: Feeding the Dragon: Time to embark on wholesale coal subsidy reform in China?

20-21 April—Beijing—Coal remains central to the energy sector in China despite the impact on air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Recognizing the problems associated with coal use, China has embarked on a programme to gradually reduce the role of coal and develop cleaner forms of energy.  A key first step to breaking the hold of coal on the energy sector is to stop providing subsidies to the industry.

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Blog: Talking Energy Subsidy Reform in the Ukrainian Parliament

The roundtable on the theme of “Energy subsidies in Ukraine and progress of reform” was jointly held by the Committee on Fuel and the Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety of the Parliament of Ukraine and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Kyiv on April 25, 2016. This was the second in the series of events linked to the OECD-led project “Inventory of Energy Subsidies in the EU’s Eastern Partnership Countries", supported by the IISD Global Subsidies Initiative (IISD-GSI) and consultants in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine. A draft report on "Energy subsidies in Ukraine" (available in English and Ukranian) was prepared by IISD-GSI to inform the discussion.  

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Economic Instruments, Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Climate Change

16 February 2016—Geneva—The Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) hosted a webinar on the climate change impacts of USD 500 billion of government subsidies to fossil fuels. The webinar was chaired by Peter Wooders, Group Director, Energy, IISD, who outlined the importance of fiscal instruments and mitigation efforts in light of the UNFCCC agreement and the ambitious efforts of the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform in promoting an international communiqué on the issue.

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Blog: Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform: Big at the Climate Talks and in the Agreement?

World leaders hailed that the climate change agreement, agreed on Saturday 12 December, was important and significant in terms of setting the framework for government action in the coming years. In this blog, the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) examines both the text of the agreement as well as the events and activities that took place throughout COP21 in Paris with regards to fossil fuel subsidy reform and the phased removal of around US$600 billion of government subsidies to fossil fuels. In summary, there was much momentum on the side-lines of the negotiating process. The content of the agreement itself, from the perspective of moving the issue of fossil fuel subsidy reform, is also a very positive step in the right direction for setting the framework and rules of the game on climate action.

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Talking Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform in Indonesia

Jakarta—31 October—As part of its work in Indonesia, the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) recently supported The Habibie Center and consumer’s association Yayasan Lembaga Konsumen Indonesia (YLKI) in facilitating a large public dialogue session to discuss Indonesia’s recent efforts to reform fossil fuel subsidies.

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Tackling Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Climate Change: levelling the energy playing field

Most strategies to tackle climate change cost governments money. What if you could reduce more than 10% of GHG emissions just by cutting spending? This was one of the questions facing climate negotiators in Bonn this month (19-23 October) as they negotiated the draft text for the 21st Conference of Parties (CoP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in early December 2015.

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