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SUBSIDY WATCH BLOG

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

The Heroes of Climate Change are Leaders Driving National Policy Reforms

Despite slow but solid progress at the climate change negotiations in Lima, the Conference of Parties this year nonetheless saw promising discussions around national efforts to tackle climate change on-the-ground. This includes increasing calls in the last month to realize opportunities stemming from the removal of US$ 550 billion of subsidies to fossil fuels.

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REN21’s 10-year Anniversary Academy Explores Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and Renewable Energy

‘100% renewables by 2050’ was the driving theme of the Academy REN21 held in Bonn 10-12 November 2014 to celebrate its 10 years driving networks to promote the deployment of renewable energy. Speakers—including Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Christine Lins, Executive Secretary of REN21—noted how the amount of renewables now deployed to generate electricity was far in excess of projections made in 2004 when REN21 was set up.  A straw poll of the 180 delegates showed a clear majority who believed that 100% Renewables by 2050 was achievable. This is now the focus of a number of campaigns, for example the “Go 100% Renewables Campaign”. Speakers remarked how quickly this concept and target had moved into the mainstream.

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Indian Energy Pricing: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

On Saturday 18th October the Indian Government announced a series of policy decisions in relation to energy, including decontrol of diesel pricing, revision of natural gas prices on a market-linked basis, and proposed changes to domestic LPG subsidy entitlements and delivery mechanisms. This package of measures, presented as a reflection of the new NDA administration’s reformist intent, represents a complex mix of continuity and change in relation to the previous UPA government’s policies, with important implications (both positive and negative) for the future direction of Indian energy policy.

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New Report Calls G20 to Account on Exploration Subsidies

In the run-up to the G20 summit on 15 and 16 November, 2014 in Brisbane, Australia, the international environmental community is calling on G20 Leaders to account on fossil fuel subsidies. G20’s commitment to “phase out, over medium-term, inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption” made the news in 2009, that is five years ago.

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Managing the Transition to Sustainable Energy Pricing

Washington—10 October—International experts and senior government officials from ministries of finance and economy gathered on October 10 during the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank to discuss how to manage the transition to sustainable energy pricing.

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Building a Network for Action on Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform, International Civil Society Dialogue

London—1-2 September—Civil society organizations from across the world gathered in London from September 1-2 to discuss $544 billion government spending on consumer fossil-fuel subsidies, and the at least $100 billion on producer fossil-fuel subsidies. Participants discussed the size of subsidies, their reform and the impacts of fossil-fuel subsides on sustainable development.

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Commentary: A Commentary on the SDGs, Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform and The Future We Want

The most recent draft of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an outcome from Rio+20 and The Future We Want, now includes international cooperation and potentially financial support towards cleaner fossil-fuel technologies; however, the draft goals no longer recognise the need to phase-out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies, which stood at $554 billion in 2012 (IEA, 2013). That is four times the level of aid from the OECD DAC in 2013 ($134 billion). This is a step backwards.

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Electricity Generation Mixes of the Future: Roles for Nuclear or Renewables? Or Both? Or Neither?

Nuclear power will be the featured energy source in the International Energy Agency’s 2014 World Energy Outlook (WEO).1 To gather input, the IEA convened 100 experts in Paris on 31 March for an informal meeting—“The Future of Nuclear Power”—to help shape the three chapters of the upcoming WEO, which is standard reading for all in the energy policy field. The IEA’s Chief Economist, Fatih Birol, introduced the session noting that the WEO was always objective and does not lobby for any energy source or technology.

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Blog: Ministers UAE and Oman Place Spotlight on Low Fossil-Fuel Pricing in the GCC

Low fossil-fuel prices are responsible for wasteful consumption in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said Al Mazroui, Minister of Energy of the United Arab Emirates, and Al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas of Oman at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference on November 10, 2013. Al Mazroui framed the problem as one of setting low energy prices.

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G-20 Leaders Call for Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Peer Review Methodology

The G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg on 5-6 September placed job creation and economic growth at the centre of the debate. The leaders’ declaration at the end of the summit emphasized the need for more transparency and accountability in the search for sound and sustainable economic growth.

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The Policy Paradox: Why Parties to the UNFCCC Have to Address Fossil-fuel Subsidies

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) circulated its draft Fifth Assessment Report among peer reviewers last weekend. While the draft revises down the low-end of the range of this century’s projected temperature rise to 2.7°C, most scientists find that greater than 5°C is more likely, given the current trends that could double CO2 concentrations in the coming decades.

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