Green fiscal policy

Developing a greater understanding of how governments can transform fiscal policy to support social and environmental objectives.
Effects of coal mining. Photo: Jennifer Woodard Maderazo/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Governments use subsidies and incentives to shape economic sectors and the activities of institutions, businesses and individuals. Shifting government support away from environmentally-harmful subsidies and incentives is an important means of achieving wider economic, social and environmental progress.

Gains from tackling inefficient subsidies include: unlocking government resources for public goods, such as education, as part of wider fiscal reform; levelling the playing field for clean energy and energy savings; and improving public health by reducing air and water pollution.

Our work on green fiscal policy spans the tracking of government subsidies to fossil fuel production and consumption, mapping fiscal incentives to reduce deforestation, and identifying fisheries subsidies in the context of overfishing.

Key aims

  • tracking subsidies to fossil fuel production and consumption and driving increased accountability by governments for meeting subsidy phase-out pledges
  • supporting subsidy reform across multiple sectors (energy, transport, agriculture, fisheries etc.) through knowledge sharing at the national and international level
  • linking green fiscal reform to wider objectives including sustainable finance, carbon pricing, and fiscal space for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and under the UN SDGs
  • understanding the opportunities to support green fiscal reform through international agencies and processes