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.

Appendix 2: Appendix 2: A subsidy reform tool

Patrick ten Brink and Sirini Withana

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


A critical first step in the process of reforming EHS is the development of transparent inventories of subsidies to highlight the impacts of existing subsidies and communicate the benefits of their reform. A bottom-up approach driven by countries and regions, initially focusing on a select number of priority subsidies would be a pragmatic way of taking this process forward. The subsidy reform tool outlined in this Appendix could be used as part of an initial screening process to help identify where indepth analysis is needed and thus prioritize reform efforts. This Appendix sets out the tool discussed in Chapter 13 for the identification of subsidies that are harmful to the environment, and provides detailed guidance to policy-makers on how to assess such subsidies in order to better understand how they could be phased out or reformed. This tool was developed by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to help identify subsidies needing reform in the context of meeting Target 3 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 (ten Brink et al., 2012) and for the Flemish authorities in Belgium to support their efforts to develop an inventory of subsides in Flanders (Franckx et al., 2013). It builds on existing international tools for the identification and reform of EHS including the OECD checklist (OECD, 2005) and the integrated assessment framework (OECD, 2007), an integrated EHS tool developed by IEEP et al.

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