Improving the Environment through Reducing Subsidies

Part III: Case Studies

Substantial amounts of money continue to be spent in OECD countries on measures to support agriculture, energy, transportation and industrial activities. Many of these support measures encourage the emission of environmentally harmful pollutants, the generation of waste, and the excessive use of natural resources; and they constitute a large drain on government budgets. In addition, much of the money spent on support may not reach the intended recipients as it can leak away to other sectors of the economy instead. As such, it is likely that the reform or removal of these subsidies could lead to "win-win" benefits through increased economic efficiency, reduced government spending and improved environmental quality.

This publication compiles eight case studies undertaken as part of an OECD study on how economic support measures actually affect the economy and, as a result, the environment. These case studies analyse the effects of particular support schemes and/or the possibilities for their reform. The objective is to further develop understanding of how the combination of the particular elements of a support scheme, the sector it is applied in, and other factors impact on the environment. A wide range of sectors are examined, including agriculture, energy, transport, industry, and metals production.

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