UNEP-UNECE SDG Indicator 12.c.1 Online Training

High-level presentation and technical training workshop on Indicator 12.c.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals 

Amount of fossil-fuel subsidies per unit of GDP (production and consumption)  
and as a proportion of total national expenditure on fossil fuels  

23-24-25 May 2022, 09.00 – 12.00 Geneva time (CEST/GMT+2 hours)  

The scale and impact of fossil fuel subsidies imply challenges and opportunities on the path to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On the one hand, the use of fossil fuels and their promotion through subsidy schemes negatively affects the ability of governments to achieve key goals, such as reducing poverty, improving health, achieving gender equality, access to energy and combating climate change. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that poor households, which are particularly vulnerable to price increases, can obtain or maintain access to energy. 

Sectors of the economy that depend on this type of energy can also be affected, especially by sudden price variations. Therefore, any successful reform requires careful analysis and tailored mitigation measures. On the other hand, reallocating fossil fuel subsidies to development-relevant sectors could boost the achievement of the SDGs. 

The importance of this indicator lies in knowing and sizing existing subsidies based on reliable data, which increases transparency and informs decision-making. Reporting on a global indicator, which measures fossil fuel subsidies from consumers and producers, provides a global picture. It also allows tracking of national and global trends, serving as an important guide for policy making. 

In 2021, subsidies bounced back subsidies after hitting an all-time low in 2020. While difficult to make an estimate, it is expected that there will be an increase in FFS in 2022, caused both by the increase in energy price and the introduction of emergency subsidies measures, as Governments aim to shield consumers from high fuel costs. With this background, it is now more important than ever to robustly calculate the amount of FFS, so that policies with respect to its repurposing and reform can take shape. The on-going data collection process for SDG12.c.1 and how this will support countries in producing high quality data to guide in this policy-making process.

UNEP and UN ECE co-organised this training for relevant stakeholders. This training provided participants with a clear understanding of the methodology developed for measuring fossil fuel subsidies through SDG12.c.1 and included a presentation of the template, as well as definitions and national experiences of fossil fuel statistics, globally and in the European region. The meeting saw over 80 participants. Participants were encouraged to be part to the event through series of exercises and group discussion. 

List of Links:

The agenda of the training sessions.
Day 1: Measuring and monitoring fossil fuel subsidies in the region; Branko Milicevic, Sustainable Energy Division, UNECE (with recording)
Day 1: Potentially Environmental Damaging Subsidies (PEDS) and Links to the SDG 12.c.1. Indicator; José Antonio Fuentes Galán, Eurostat Unit E2 – Environmental Statistics and Accounts; Sustainable Development (with recording)
Day 1: Estimating Fossil Fuel Subsidies with SEEA Data; Ariun Byambakhorloo, Susanna Roth (with recording)
Day 1: Reporting Fossil Fuel Subsidies in the Context of the SDG 12.c.1: The Case of Italy; Chiara Antonelli, Gionata Castaldi, Ministry of Economy and Finance (with recording)
Day 2: SDG 12.c.1 Training Materials, IISD
Day 2: Tax Expenditures; Mark Mateo
Day 2: Fossil Fuel Tax Expenditures in Europe; Agustín Redonda
Day 2: Tracking Fossil Fuel Subsidies; IEA
Day 3: SDG 12.c.1Workshop Exercises

Click here to download all the recordings from the training sessions.