An International Law Response
Chapter 2: Historical and global overview of fossil fuel subsidies
This chapter provides a representative overview of the history, nature, scale and distribution of fossil fuel subsidies globally. Selective commentary focusing on the history of government support for the fossil fuel industry in Great Britain and the United States provides context for discussion on the role of developed countries and international positioning on fossil fuel subsidy reform elsewhere in the book. High-level conceptual and methodological approaches to defining and measuring fossil fuel subsidies are then addressed, covering three approaches: the 'price gap' method often associated with the International Energy Agency; the 'inventory' method associated with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development; and the 'unpriced externalities' method associated with the International Monetary Fund. The chapter concludes with a snapshot of a variety of global estimates of fossil fuel subsidies, with particular commentary on consumption subsidies in non-OECD countries and a brief overview of contrasting estimates of subsidies for renewable energy.
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