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World Energy Outlook

Fossil Fuel Subsidy Database

The value of fossil-fuel subsidies worldwide totalled 493 billion in 2014. By comparison, such subsidies amounted to $390 billion in 2009 (in 2014 dollars), the year the G20 and APEC commitments were made. The value of these estimates has fluctuated from year-to-year in line with reform efforts, the consumption level of the subsidised fuels, international prices for fossil fuels, exchange rates and general price inflation. Decomposition analysis reveals that, while movements in world prices typically have the greatest impact from year-to-year, policy interventions have played an important role as well. Without the reforms adopted since 2009, the value of fossil-fuel subsidies would have been 24% higher ($117 billion), putting the level of these subsidies at $610 billion in 2014.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies

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IEA estimates reveal that fossil-fuel subsidies are becoming increasingly concentrated in the major oil- and gas-exporting countries. The share of Middle East oil exporters, for example, in the world total has risen from 35% to 40% over the last four years. The main reason for this trend is that high oil prices over much of the period meant that they, as net oil exporters, did not have the same fiscal incentive to reform energy pricing as that in many other parts of the world. Instead, the rise in government revenues from oil exports allowed an increase in government spending, often on social support programmes, expanding infrastructure and subsidies to food and energy. Over the period 2009-2014, fossil-fuel subsidies for this group of countries have, on average, been equivalent to more than one-quarter of government expenditure.


Fossil Fuels Figure 2

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To download the spreadsheet containing the IEA fossil-fuel subsidies database, please follow this link:  WEO 2015 Fossil Fuel Subsidies Database