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

Seeing the Light: Reforming Kerosene Subsidies for Clean Energy Access

Kerosene subsidies are expensive: estimated to be more than US$ 4 billion in West Africa and more than US$ 5 billion in India. What are governments—often with highly limited resources—achieving by spending all this money? And with an increasing number of countries committing to reform subsidies, what will it mean for energy access if these policies are removed?

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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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United Arab Emirates Reforms Fossil Fuel Subsidies

In January 2015, Suhail Al Mazroui, the Minister of Energy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced that lifting energy subsidies was 'just a matter of time'. Six months on, that time appears to have come. On 22 July, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government announced that the prices of gasoline and diesel will be deregulated from 1 August.

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Eliminating Fossil Fuel Subsidies Still on the Agenda – The International Community Must Now Walk the Talk

The international community reaffirmed commitments on Thursday 16th July 2015, within the Addis Ababa Action Agenda "to rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption ..."  and "phasing out those harmful subsidies". Fossil fuel subsidy removal remains on the agenda and is as important as ever when governments are squeezed for fiscal space and domestic resource mobilisation.

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Blog: High-Level Event on Fossil Fuel Subsidies and the Link to Clean and Affordable Energy

It is ever clearer that fossil fuel subsidies are detrimental to sustainable development. However, in a time of historic low oil prices, the gap between international oil prices and consumer energy prices has narrowed dramatically, thus offering countries a huge window of opportunity to phase-out these subsidies. For this and many other reasons, the elimination of these subsidies continue to make global headlines.

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Fossil Fuel Subsidy Events at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings

Washington—16-17 April—The Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) supported a group of 8 countries―known as the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (Friends)―in organizing two high-level events at the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. The Friends group consists of Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

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DBTL is not Subsidy Reform

In August 2014, the newly-elected National Democratic Alliance (NDA) administration announced the reintroduction of the previous government’s then-suspended ‘Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG’ (DBTL) programme to distribute LPG subsidies by bank transfer, while retaining (against the recommendations of both the petroleum and finance ministries, and despite extensive media speculation) the annual cylinder cap per household first instituted (but twice raised) by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) administration at its existing level. 

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Energy Empowerment Programme Launched at IISD Offices

Geneva—11-13 February—Last week the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the IISD Energy programme helped launch a new gender and energy initiative organised by ENERGIA and funded by UKDFID in Geneva at the IISD offices with 30 consortium participants.  The IISD programme will focus on energy empowerment, energy sector reform and impacts for gender.

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