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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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  • Commentary
    Carbon Dividends Could Save Carbon Pricing – and Create a New National Climate Consensus

    Carbon Dividends Could Save Carbon Pricing – and Create a New National Climate Consensus

    Dividend payouts could hold the key to Canada's carbon pricing strategy getting back on track.

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  • Report
    Public Cash for Oil and Gas: Mapping federal fiscal support for fossil fuels

    Public Cash for Oil and Gas: Mapping federal fiscal support for fossil fuels

    This report examines the inventory of federal fossil fuel subsidies in Canada

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  • Blog
    #G20takeaction now: Civil society organizations call for G20 governments to end subsidies to fossil fuels

    #G20takeaction now: Civil society organizations call for G20 governments to end subsidies to fossil fuels

    At the C20 Summit (on the G20 agenda), Vibhuti Garg presented on Addressing the Challenges for Global Energy Transition towards Climate Compatible Future.

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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
    Kerosene to Solar PV Subsidy Swap: The business case for redirecting subsidy expenditure from kerosene to off-grid solar

    Kerosene to Solar PV Subsidy Swap: The business case for redirecting subsidy expenditure from kerosene to off-grid solar

    If kerosene subsidies are being gradually removed, can a share of the subsidy savings not be reinvested in helping the most vulnerable households access electric lighting through off-grid solar technologies? This paper explores the idea of a “kerosene to solar subsidy swap” or a “subsidy swap.”

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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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