Contributed by: Ms. Kerryn Lang
Research Officer · Global Subsidies Initiative · International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

The Ask Your Government! initiative posed six budget-related questions to 80 governments; one of which was “What was the total amount incurred during the past three fiscal years on subsidies for oil, gas and coal production and consumption?”

The survey results illustrate the opacity of fossil-fuel subsidy policies and the lack of information about how governments are spending public money. This brief analyses the findings of the survey and provides insightful anecdotes from the surveyors that demonstrate the challenges of accessing information on subsidy expenditure – some researchers received angry phone calls from Ministers’ offices demanding why they wanted the information, others were told that the information is ‘private’ or ‘politically sensitive’ and officials did not want to ‘expose themselves’, and some researchers were given the run-around between ministries, one submitted up to 15 requests before giving up.

The brief concludes with recommendations for how policy-makers can improve the availability and quality of information about subsidy expenditure. To read more, download the brief here.

For any questions or comments please contact me on the details below:

Ms. Kerryn Lang
Research Officer · Global Subsidies Initiative · International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Level 5 · International Environment House II · 9 chemin de Balexert · 1219 · Geneva · Switzerland
T: +41 22 917 8920
F: +41 22 917 8054
E: klang at iisd.org
http://www.globalsubsidies.org · http://www.iisd.org