Paying the Polluter

Paying the Polluter

Environmentally Harmful Subsidies and their Reform

Edited by Frans H. Oosterhuis and Patrick ten Brink

Pledges to reform environmentally harmful subsidies (EHS) have increased over the past few years, at both global and national levels. Paying the Polluter addresses the most important issues to be considered when embarking upon these necessary reforms.

Chapter 6: Energy subsidies

Frans Oosterhuis and Katharina Umpfenbach

Subjects: environment, environmental economics, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy


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.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information