Fossil fuel subsidies stood at about USD 425 billion in 2015. This is 7.5 times more than the amount of financing required for universal electricity access. Reforming subsidies has massive benefits as a means of implementation for the global transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies. Nevertheless, reform requires effort from political leaders, civil society and sound information to be successful.
This side event at the 2018 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development
presented opportunities for financing and delivering the SDGs through fossil fuel subsidy reform, with a focus on sustainable energy access. Speakers will present replicable strategies for fossil fuel subsidy reform with high benefits for poverty reduction, gender and the SDGs. These strategies include better targeting of subsidies and subsidy “SWAPs”, i.e. shifting fossil fuel subsidies towards sustainable energy solutions like renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as investments in public transport. A report on the interlinkages between energy access and fossil fuel subsidies was launched at the event.
The side event was organised by New Zealand on behalf of the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (“Friends
”), with Finland, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway as co-organisers. IISD’s Global Subsidies Initiative
coordinated the event.
Summary of discussions
IISD coverage of the side-event
Video about the side-event