Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and Trade - Understanding the Linkages

Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium Side Events

The biennial Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium, organized by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and held alongside the WTO ministerial conference for over a decade, is the leading multi-stakeholder platform for intellectual enquiry and dialogue on sustainable development and the global trade and investment system. It acts as an inclusive platform outside of the WTO negotiating setting for sharing ideas, engaging in dialogue, and influencing trade policy negotiations. Drawing in participants from government, business and civil society, the Symposium helps to maintain and elaborate a global vision of sustainable development in trade and investment policymaking.

Monday, December 11, 2017
11:15 AM - 12:45 PM

Recent years have witnessed active reform of fossil fuel subsidies at the national level with more than 40 countries capitalising on the opportunity presented by low oil prices. At the same time, G7, G20 and APEC economies have maintained and built on commitments to phase out and undertake peer reviews of fossil fuel subsidies. And yet, in 2015 it was estimated that government subsidies to fossil fuels stood at around USD 425 billion (USD 325 billion consumption subsidies and USD 100 billion to production subsidies).  

New Zealand will lead a Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Ministerial level event as part of the TSDS.   The objective of the event will be to share information amongst participants on  fossil fuel subsidies and trade and to promote an open discussion on the issue and following questions:
• What are the links between fossil fuel subsidies and trade?
• How do fossil fuel subsidies hold us back from trade in sustainable energy?
• How have countries delivered and benefitted from reform without harming trade?
• How have countries increased transparency on fossil fuel subsidies at the national and international level?
• What are the options for action on subsidies within the WTO and to encourage reform?

The event will also see the launch of a Ministerial Statement calling for discussion in the WTO aimed at achieving ambitious and effective disciplines on inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.


  • Soledad Aguilar, Director for Climate Change, Min.Environment and Sust.Develop., Argentina


  • Álvaro Cedeño, Ambassador to the WTO
  • David Laborde, Senior Research Fellow - IFPRI
  • Jean Baptiste Lemoyne, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France
  • Kai Mykkänen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland
  • Amy Porges, Principal, Law Offices of Amelia Porges PLLC