Opening the Conference, the WTO underlined that fossil fuel subsidy reform represents a powerful tool in climate change mitigation.
14 October 2010: The Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) co-organized a conference titled “Increasing the Momentum of Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform: Developments and Opportunities,” which took place from 14-15 October 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Opening the conference, Harsha V. Singh, World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Deputy Director-General, highlighted that fossil fuel subsidy reform could accelerate the shift towards renewable, and less polluting, sources of energy. He said fossil fuel subsidy reform represents a powerful tool to mitigate climate change, noting that international climate negotiations could be aided by parallel developments in fossil fuel subsidy reform. In this regard, he highlighted the evaluation of this topic currently by the G20. He also emphasized the need for countries to reflect on the link between trade and climate change, and on the eventual role of WTO rules on an issue such as fossil-fuel subsidies. [Conference Website] [WTO Statement]