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.
Global Subsidies Initiative
GSI programs and research place a spotlight on fossil fuel subsidies and the corrosive effect they have on economic development, governance and environmental quality.
Fossil Fuel Subsidy Tracker
Explore the latest global fossil fuel subsidy estimates from all major sources in one interactive database.
IISD is focused on supporting the World Trade Organization negotiations to end harmful fisheries subsidies.
Unpacking Canada's Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Canada committed to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies 10 years ago—but even after a decade there are still large subsidies to fossil fuel production.
EU Accepts WTO Deal on Fisheries Subsidies
The European Union, along with other countries, has formally accepted the historic WTO Agreement on Fisheries, which aims to ban subsidies that encourage overfishing.
The Final Countdown: How Canada can end fossil fuel subsidies this year
The conversation on ending fossil fuel subsidies in Canada has been hanging like a dark cloud over the country, with years of pledges failing to lead to concrete action. But the skies may finally clear in the coming months with the release of Canada's long-awaited subsidies framework and policy.
Fanning the Flames: G20 provides record financial support for fossil fuels
This digital story provides the latest evidence regarding the G20's progress in aligning public financial flows with the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Implementing Solar Irrigation Sustainably
This guidebook provides recommendations to state policy-makers on how they can implement solar irrigation models, particularly decentralized solar plants for irrigation under the PM-KUSUM scheme, effectively and sustainably.
Agrivoltaics in India
This background paper assesses the current state of development of agrivoltaics in India and identifies the challenges and opportunities for its commercialization.
The WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies: A Reader's Guide
This guide provides a clear overview of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, explaining succinctly the rules and provisions that the treaty establishes.
Interim Co-Director, Energy & Director, Sustainable Energy
Lead, Sustainable Energy Consumption
Interim Co-Director, Energy & Lead, Energy Transitions
Director, Trade and Sustainable Development
Senior Policy Advisor
Policy Advisor, Fisheries Subsidies
Senior Policy Advisor
Associate and Senior Energy Specialist
Canada, a giant oil producer, urges others to end fossil fuel subsidies
Canada is pushing the United States and other major economies to follow through on pledges to phase out "inefficient" fossil fuel subsidies, which have soared despite the growing threat of climate change. Such subsidies hit records last year, according to several watchdog groups, including one that estimated that major world economies—members of the G-20 cooperation forum—surpassed $1 trillion in subsidies for the first time in 2022. That’s a fourfold increase over subsidy levels in 2010, the year after G-20 nations agreed to phase out support for fossil fuels.
New Report Finds Carbon Capture And Storage Far Too Expensive
A new report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development found carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to be very expensive in Canada. According to the report, which focuses on carbon capture in the context of Canada's oil and gas industry, the climate solution’s persistently high costs are rooted in the "high design complexity and the need for customization."
CCS Can't Compete with Renewables, Won't Deliver by 2030, Report Finds
Carbon capture and storage may have an important role to play in hard-to-decarbonize sectors like iron and steel, but won't pay off for oil and gas companies without continuing government subsidies, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) concludes in an analysis released this week.
Carbon capture projects are too costly, have ‘questionable’ benefits, report finds
Technology the oil industry is counting on to reduce emissions–carbon capture and storage–is too expensive and difficult to deploy quickly enough to help Canada meet its climate commitments, a global environmental think tank says. Relying on carbon capture and storage to cut greenhouse gases from oil and gas production will mean large public subsidies for projects that are unable to compete on costs against expanding renewable energy sources, rendering the benefits "questionable," the International Institute for Sustainable Development said in a report released Thursday.
Study reveals G20 nations increased fossil fuel investments in 2022, defying climate goals
Amid the upcoming G20 summit in New Delhi, where global leaders are poised to deliberate on critical topics including climate change, a study reveals a conflicting trend. Attending countries had substantially increased financial support for fossil fuels in 2022, which is in glaring contradiction to achieving the climate objectives set by the Paris Agreement, claims the study. Conducted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the study found that G20 member countries extended an all-time high of $1.4 trillion in public funds to bolster the fossil fuel industry in 2022.
How fossil fuel subsidies are hurting the energy transition
G20 leaders are preparing to meet in New Delhi on Sept. 9-10, where action to tackle climate change and boost clean energy will be on the agenda—but recent reports have exposed how the world’s most powerful nations are still pouring huge amounts of money into supporting the production and use of fossil fuels. Analysis from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) shows that G20 governments provided a record US$1.4 trillion to subsidize climate-heating fossil fuels in 2022.
IMF: Fossil fuel subsidies hit RM6t
Despite repeated government pledges to cut back on fossil fuel subsidies, a new report found such subsidies surged to a record US$1.3 trillion (RM5.95 trillion) last year. The report by the International Monetary Fund looked at both explicit and implicit subsidies for fossil fuels across 170 countries. The findings dovetail with a report that came out earlier last week by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), a Canada-based think tank, which found that public monies in Group of 20 countries alone going to explicit fossil fuel subsidies more than quadrupled to US$1 trillion in 2022 compared to a year ago.
Global fossil fuel subsidies and costs hit record $7tn in 2022, IMF reports
Global fossil fuel subsidies hit a record total of $7tn in 2022 as governments rushed to shield consumers from soaring energy prices sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the IMF estimates. This compares with the most recent estimates from the International Institute for Sustainable Development think-tank this week that said subsidies from G20 economies stood at $1.4tn, including investments by state-owned enterprises and loans from public finance institutions.
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Climate Change Mitigation
Tackling climate change requires urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions to minimize the impacts on our societies, economies, and ecosystems.
We work to identify wasteful practices, encourage new thinking, engage civil society, and support policy reform.
In the transition to clean energy, a just transition can minimize negative impacts and maximize positive opportunities.