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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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  • Report
    Submission to Environment and Climate Change Canada's Consultation on Non-Tax Fossil Fuel Subsidies

    Submission to Environment and Climate Change Canada's Consultation on Non-Tax Fossil Fuel Subsidies

    As part the G20 peer review of fossil fuel subsidies, Environment and Climate Change Canada opened a consultation on their review of non-tax subsidies. IISD developed this written submission in response.

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  • Report
    Mapping Policy for Solar Irrigation Across the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus in India

    Mapping Policy for Solar Irrigation Across the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus in India

    How are India's off-grid solar pump policies affecting the water–energy–food nexus? This paper maps out impacts and the key policies that are driving them.

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  • Briefing Note
    India's Energy Transition: The Cost of Meeting Air Pollution Standards in the Coal-fired Electricity Sector

    India's Energy Transition: The Cost of Meeting Air Pollution Standards in the Coal-fired Electricity Sector

    It will cost up to INR 86,135 crore (USD 12 billion) to comply with India's rules for air pollution control technology in the current fleet of coal power plants, increasing the average cost of electricity by 9–21 per cent per kWh. The Ministry of Power must take a strict position to ensure compliance.

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  • Report
    The (Public) Cost of Pollution: Ontario's fossil fuel subsidies

    The (Public) Cost of Pollution: Ontario's fossil fuel subsidies

    This report provides an inventory of fossil fuel subsidies in Ontario and provides recommendations for provincial subsidy reform.

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  • Briefing Note
    India's Energy Transition: Subsidies for gasoline, diesel and electric vehicles

    India's Energy Transition: Subsidies for gasoline, diesel and electric vehicles

    India’s subsidies to petrol and diesel between October 2018 and June 2019 amounted to almost three times the three-year government budget for electric vehicle (EV) support, according to our new study.

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  • Briefing Note
    India Energy Subsidy Briefing July 2019

    India Energy Subsidy Briefing July 2019

    As part of its work on energy policy and sustainable development in India, the Global Subsidies Initiative publishes a regular briefing on issues related to energy subsidies.

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  • Report
    Raising Ambition Through Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform: Greenhouse gas emissions results modelling from 26 countries

    Raising Ambition Through Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform: Greenhouse gas emissions results modelling from 26 countries

    This working paper models 26 countries and finds national average emission reductions of 6 per cent from the removal of fossil fuel subsidies. For every tonne of CO2e removed through FFSR, governments save an average of USD 93. Global emission reductions from reforms are between 6.4 and 8.2 per cent by 2050. Countries can consider the carbon reduction co-benefits from FFSR and taxation within second-generation Nationally Determined Contributions.  

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  • Report
    Más allá de los combustibles fósiles: Transición fiscal en México

    Más allá de los combustibles fósiles: Transición fiscal en México

    Este reporte ayuda a entender el rol del sector de hidrocarburos en la transición energética en México

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  • Briefing Note
    G20 Coal Subsidies: India

    G20 Coal Subsidies: India

    This country study and accompanying data sheet compile publicly available information on G20 subsidies to the production and consumption of coal (including coal-fired power) in India in 2016 and 2017.  

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