Paying the Polluter
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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.
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Chapter 13: The way forward: reforming EHS in the transition to a green economy

Patrick ten Brink, Sirini Withana and Frans Oosterhuis


There is a growing list of commitments to reform environmental harmful subsidies from the global to the local level. Although public statements of the urgency for subsidy reform and declarations of commitment to such reforms have been increasing, progress to date has been relatively slight, with several notable exceptions. There is a new consensus that the conditions necessary for subsidy reform are increasingly aligned - a growing realization of resource scarcity, an appreciation of environmental and health impacts and a need for fiscal consolidation - creating a range of windows of opportunity between now and 2020 for EHS reform. This chapter presents guidelines to support countries in the identification of EHS, prioritization for reform and principles to guide the reform process. Subsidies are an integral part of political economy and current weaknesses in their design are undermining the potential for the transition to a green economy. There is a need for a systematic approach to address this systemic problem - both by reforming existing subsidies and correctly designing new subsidies for tomorrow's priorities.

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