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Inventory of Estimated Budgetary Support and Tax Expenditures for Fossil Fuels

image of Inventory of Estimated Budgetary Support and Tax Expenditures for Fossil Fuels

This publication provides preliminary, quantitative estimates of direct budgetary support and tax expenditures supporting the production or consumption of fossil fuels in selected OECD member countries. The information has been compiled as part of the OECD’s programme of work to develop a better understanding of environmentally harmful subsidies (EHS). It has been undertaken as an exercise in transparency, and to inform the international dialogue on fossil-fuel subsidy reform. It is also intended to inform the ongoing efforts of G20 nations to reform fossil-fuel subsidies.

For each of the 24 OECD countries covered, the Inventory provides a succinct summary of its energy economy, and of the budgetary and tax-related measures provided at the central-government level (and, in the case of federal countries, for selected sub-national units of government) relating to fossil-fuel production or consumption.

Many measures listed in this inventory are relative preferences within a particular country’s tax system rather than absolute support that can be readily compared across countries, and for that reason no national totals are provided.

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Introduction

This chapter describes the coverage, method and data sources used in compiling the country information contained in the Inventory. It also discusses the way in which this information should be interpreted, with particular attention being devoted to the concept of tax expenditures given the latter’s relative importance for the report. A distinction is made among tax expenditures based on whether they relate to the consumption of fossil fuels, to the use of fossil fuels as inputs to production, or to the production of fossil fuels. Measurement issues are also discussed, in particular the role of tax benchmarks and the importance of the broader tax system in understanding the meaning of tax-expenditure estimates.

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