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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
    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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  • Policy Brief
    Indonesia Energy Subsidy News Briefing January 2018

    Indonesia Energy Subsidy News Briefing January 2018

    This update provides a look at State Budgets from 2017 and 2018, as well as an assessment of liquefied petroleum gas, coal, transport fuels and electricity subsidies. A list of recent GSI reports and commentaries is also included.

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  • Briefing Note
    India Energy Subsidy Briefing January 2018

    India Energy Subsidy Briefing January 2018

    A briefing on issues related to energy subsidies, energy policy and sustainable development in India. 

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  • Report
    Energy Pricing Reforms in the Gulf: A trend but not (yet) a norm

    Energy Pricing Reforms in the Gulf: A trend but not (yet) a norm

    This GSI paper summarizes recent fossil fuel subsidy reforms in the Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar, putting them in the context of wider developmental challenges and calling for more focused international support to energy pricing reforms in the region. 

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  • Report
    The Transformation of the Polish Coal Sector

    The Transformation of the Polish Coal Sector

    Although Poland remains one of the most coal-dependent economies in Europe, there have been significant job losses in mining since 1990 This study reviews some of the policies introduced to mitigate the effects of these losses.

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  • Report
    Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and the Just Transition: Integrating approaches for complementary outcomes

    Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and the Just Transition: Integrating approaches for complementary outcomes

    This paper goes into detail about the various ways in which FFSR can be consistent with just transition. The scale of current fossil fuel subsidies in the world coupled with the massive financial needs for transition are early indicators of the benefits of approaching FFSR with just transition in mind. 

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  • Report
    India's Energy Transition: Mapping subsidies to fossil fuels and clean energy in India

    India's Energy Transition: Mapping subsidies to fossil fuels and clean energy in India

    This report maps out the context, magnitude, trends and impacts of India’s energy subsidies. It aims to enhance transparency and dialogue on energy choices in India and to help track shifts in government support from fossil fuels to renewables.

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