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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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  • Blog
    India's Energy Subsidies Moving in the Right Direction

    India's Energy Subsidies Moving in the Right Direction

    India has become an outspoken proponent of renewable energy, but do the facts back up the rhetoric? Is the central government walking the talk when it comes to India's energy subsidies?

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  • Briefing Note
    India Energy Subsidy Briefing December 2018

    India Energy Subsidy Briefing December 2018

    The latest news on energy subsidy issues in India, including draft amendments to the Electricity Act 2003, India poised to exceed renewable energy target and oil subsidy burden potentially on the rise.

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  • Report
    India's Energy Transition: Subsidies for Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy, 2018 Update

    India's Energy Transition: Subsidies for Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy, 2018 Update

    How have India’s energy subsidy policies changed since 2016? Have they become more or less aligned with India’s desired energy future? How have India’s energy subsidy policies changed since 2016? Have they become more or less aligned with India’s desired energy future?

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  • Blog
    The French Lesson on Climate Change Action

    The French Lesson on Climate Change Action

    President Emmanuel Macron's failure to engage with the public on fuel price increases can backfire unless France follows Just Transition principles.

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  • Blog
    G20 Countries Must Speed Up Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reforms

    G20 Countries Must Speed Up Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reforms

    Like dancers doing the tango, G20 countries step forward and back when it comes to climate action. It's time to pick up the pace.

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  • Report
    Real People, Real Change – Strategies for Just Energy Transitions

    Real People, Real Change – Strategies for Just Energy Transitions

    This report aims to support governments of both developed and developing countries in their endeavour to make energy transitions just.

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  • Report
    Subsidy Swap: Reducing fossil fuel subsidies through energy efficiency and renewable energy in Zambia

    Subsidy Swap: Reducing fossil fuel subsidies through energy efficiency and renewable energy in Zambia

    This report examines the potential of subsidy reform to improve cost recovery in the electricity sector and promote clean energy and energy efficiency in Zambia.

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  • Blog
    What's Stalling the G20's Move to Clean Energy?

    What's Stalling the G20's Move to Clean Energy?

    Next year will mark a decade since G20 leaders met in Pittsburgh and promised to identify and eliminate subsidies to fossil fuels. In that time, trillions of dollars in government budgets have been spent to subsidize fossil fuel production and consumption.

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  • Report
    Stories from G20 Countries: Shifting public money out of fossil fuels

    Stories from G20 Countries: Shifting public money out of fossil fuels

    This analysis has brought together examples illustrating how G20 countries can learn from each other and align the flows of public money with climate targets and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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