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Subsidies

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With over 10 years of experience, the IISD Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) is widely recognized as world-class leader in the quantification, evaluation and reform of subsidies.

Governments around the world spend at least a trillion dollars a year on subsidies to exploit the world's natural resources. But faced with increasing fiscal constraints, and concerned about making their economies cleaner, more inclusive and stable, governments are under increasing pressure to change course.

GSI works closely with governments to help them move away from subsidies that hinder sustainability. The goal is to encourage individual governments to undertake unilateral reforms on subsidy policy where these would deliver clear economic, environmental and social benefits. GSI also aims to generate a consensus in the World Trade Organization and in other forums on the need to take resolute, ongoing and systematic action to reduce or eliminate subsidies that are trade-distorting and undermine sustainable development.

  • Blog
    Making the International Trade System Work for Climate Change:  Five Ways to Address Fossil Fuel Subsidies through the WTO and International Trade Agreements

    Making the International Trade System Work for Climate Change: Five Ways to Address Fossil Fuel Subsidies through the WTO and International Trade Agreements

    Can the international trade system be a catalyst for reforming fossil fuel subsidies (FFSs) to help relieve the burden on the public purse, reduce local and global air pollution, improve energy security and tackle climate change? 

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  • Video
    Leadership on Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform for Sustainable Energy Access and Poverty Reduction

    Leadership on Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform for Sustainable Energy Access and Poverty Reduction

    This side event focused on fossil fuel subsidy reform as a means to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including through opportunities for financing and sustainable energy access.

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  • Report
    Getting on Target: Accelerating energy access through fossil fuel subsidy reform

    Getting on Target: Accelerating energy access through fossil fuel subsidy reform

    How can reforming fossil fuel subsidies accelerate universal energy access (SDG 7)? This paper reviews the financial and practical implications of fossil fuel subsidies for SDG 7.

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  • Report
    Inventory of Energy Subsidies in the EU's Eastern Partnership Countries

    Inventory of Energy Subsidies in the EU's Eastern Partnership Countries

    This publication aims to provide the first comprehensive and consistent record of energy subsidies in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region, with a view to improving transparency and establishing a solid analytical basis that can help build the case for further reforms in these countries (this study covers Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). 

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  • Report
    New poll shows Canadians want to end public subsidies for oil and gas companies

    New poll shows Canadians want to end public subsidies for oil and gas companies

    New polling shows that Canadians are strongly opposed to federal and provincial governments using public dollars to subsidize oil and gas companies. 

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  • Policy Brief
    G7 Fossil Fuel Subsidy Scorecard: Tracking the phase-out of fiscal support and public finance for oil, gas and coal

    G7 Fossil Fuel Subsidy Scorecard: Tracking the phase-out of fiscal support and public finance for oil, gas and coal

    While progress is being made to transition away from fossil fuels, this analysis shows that G7 governments continue to provide at least USD 100 billion in subsidies to the production and use of coal, oil and gas that may hinder or delay these shifts. 

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  • Report
    The Health Cost of Coal in Indonesia

    The Health Cost of Coal in Indonesia

    This paper looks at the health impacts of coal, including related non-communicable diseases and their costs to Indonesians, suggesting several ways the country could reduce coal's negative impacts.

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  • Report
    Missing the 23 Per Cent Target: Roadblocks to the development of renewable energy in Indonesia

    Missing the 23 Per Cent Target: Roadblocks to the development of renewable energy in Indonesia

    This report seeks to answer the question of why renewable energy deployment, particularly wind and solar, has not taken off in Indonesia. To understand the forces shaping the sector, and what can be done to remedy the situation, IISD conducted interviews with politicians, civil servants, industry representatives, renewable energy developers, civil society organizations, international donors and other stakeholders. A total of 26 interviews took place, revealing the roots of the problem, the broader political economy of the energy sector and some possible ways forward.

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  • Report
    Electricity Sector Reform in Uttar Pradesh: Analysis of tariff adjustments and the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana Plan (UDAY)

    Electricity Sector Reform in Uttar Pradesh: Analysis of tariff adjustments and the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana Plan (UDAY)

    This study by IISD-Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) examines the electricity sector of the state of Uttar Pradesh by analyzing tariff adjustments and the financial assistance scheme UDAY.

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  • Blog
    Better Datasets Urgently Needed To Understand Full Scale of Fossil Fuel Subsidies

    Better Datasets Urgently Needed To Understand Full Scale of Fossil Fuel Subsidies

    Nature magazine recently released a letter detailing how fossil fuel subsidies reform could deliver carbon emission reductions of between 1 and 4 per cent globally by 2030. This is what we think...

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