Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reforms: A Guide to Economic and Political Complexity

1st Edition

Jun Rentschler

Published April 10, 2018
Reference - 236 Pages - 38 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780815386186 - CAT# K345027
Series: Routledge Studies in Energy Policy

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Countries around the world are spending up to $500 billion per year on subsidising fossil fuel consumption. By some estimates, the G20 countries alone are spending around another $450 billion on subsidising fossil fuel production. In addition, the indirect social welfare costs of these subsidies have been shown to be substantial – for instance due to air pollution, road congestion, climate change, and economic inefficiency, to name a few. Considering these numbers, there is no doubt that fossil fuel subsidies cause severe economic distortions that compromise countries’ prospects of achieving equitable and sustainable development.

This book provides a guide to the complex challenge of designing, assessing, and implementing effective fossil fuel subsidy reforms. It shows that subsidy reform requires a careful balancing of complex economic and political trade-offs, as well as measures to mitigate adverse effects on vulnerable households and to assist firms with implementing efficiency enhancing measures. Going beyond the purely fiscal perspective, this book emphasises that smart subsidy reforms can contribute to all three dimensions of sustainable development – environment, society, and economy.

Over the course of eight chapters, this book considers a wide range of agents and stakeholders, markets, and policy measures in order to distil the key principles of designing effective fossil fuel subsidy reforms. This book will be of great relevance to scholars and policy makers with an interest in energy economics and policy, climate change policy, and sustainable development more broadly.

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