Environmentally Harmful Subsidies and their Reform
Edited by Frans H. Oosterhuis and Patrick ten Brink
In this chapter we focus on subsidies that stimulate the production and consumption of energy. Such subsidies abound throughout the world, and most of them accrue to fossil fuels. Estimates of global energy subsidies vary widely (depending on definition and measurement), but they tend to amount to hundreds of billions of euros per year. Reforming these subsidies could contribute significantly to the reduction of CO2 emissions and other environmental problems. Despite several pledges on energy subsidy reform, progress in this area remains sluggish. This can be explained by the various interests and policy objectives that the support schemes (supposedly) serve. Reform strategies should assess the validity of these objectives and look for less distortionary and more cost-effective instruments to achieve them if they are considered to be (still) valid.
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