APEC Speaks: how Asia-Pacific economies plan to address fossil-fuel subsidy reform

kristy Resource Efficiency

Feature Commentary

APEC Speaks: how Asia-Pacific economies plan to address fossil-fuel subsidy reform
An interview with Dr Phyllis Yoshida

The Leaders’ Declaration from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) 17th Economic Leaders’ Meeting, released on 15 November 2009, included a commitment to “rationalize and phase out over the medium term fossil-fuel subsidies”. Why did APEC Leaders decide to make this commitment? What are they doing to turn rhetoric into action? How long is the ‘medium term’? Subsidy Watchhad a chance to ask all these questions and more, when it spoke to Dr Phyllis Yoshida, Lead Shepherd of the APEC Energy Working Group (EWG) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.

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Also in this issue:

Analysis
G-20 Summit sees little mention of pledge to reform fossil-fuel subsidies
By Fernando Cabrera Diaz

The G-20 Toronto Summit, hosted on 26-27 June by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, concluded without any new commitments to take forward the pledge made last year to reform fossil-fuel subsidies, despite pre-Summit hopes that Canada might show leadership by unilaterally eliminating some of its own.

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BP oil spill dirties reputation of U.S. support for the fossil-fuel industry

Since the 20 April explosion on British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil rig, hundreds of millions of barrels of oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. As commentators have begun to point the finger of blame, attention has turned to the role played by two types of policies – without which, some argue, the ultra-deepwater oil rig would not have been operating in the first place.

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Commentary

Bolivia’s energy sector-sector intervention is a missed opportunity for economic development
By Professor Raymond Saner, the Centre for Socio Eco-Nomic Development (CSEND)

Since the 20 April explosion on British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil rig, hundreds of millions of barrels of oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. As commentators have begun to point the finger of blame, attention has turned to the role played by two types of policies – without which, some argue, the ultra-deepwater oil rig would not have been operating in the first place.

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News

Fossil-fuel subsidies round-up: May and June 2010

Following announcements that fossil-fuel subsidies will be phased out, from the G-20, APEC and a number of independent countries, including Iran, Nigeria and Bahrain, Subsidy Watch each month highlights important news stories that touch on this theme …

Including this month:

Brunei holds ‘no subsidy day’
Malaysia announces plans to reform fuel subsidies
India ends subsidies for gasoline
Speculation builds in the run up to G-20 Toronto Summit
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Studies

G-20 Joint Report becomes publically available

When the G-20 committed to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that lead to wasteful consumption, they asked the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank to “provide an analysis of the scope of energy subsidies and suggestions for the implementation” of the initiative.

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United Soybean Board disputes Argentine subsidy

On 23 June, the United Soybean Board (USB) published the report, Impact of Argentina’s System of Differential Export Tax Rates. The study reports that Argentina levies different tax rates on soybean products at different points of the processing chain: 35% for exports of soybeans; 32% for exports of soybean oil and meal; and 17.5% for exports of soy biodiesel.
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GSI study on international cooperation over fossil-fuel subsidy reform

This July, the Global Subsidies Intiative (GSI) released a new paper on fossil-fuel subsidies: Increasing the Momentum of Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform: A roadmap for international cooperation. The paper argues that international collaboration and agreement can provide essential support to national efforts to reform fossil-fuel subsidies, taking a detailed look at the opportunities, strengths and weaknesses of progressing fossil-fuel subsidy reform within the WTO, UNFCCC and G-20 political leadership.

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Subsidy Watch is produced by the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Global Subsidies Initiative. To subscribe or unsubscribe, [email protected]
www.globalsubsidies.org