E15 Engagement Track on Fossil Fuel Subsides

ICTSD seeks to inform trade policymaking such that it supports climate action. In addition to our long-standing efforts in that regard, the E15 Initiative convened an Expert Group on Measures to Address Climate Change and the Trade System, which produced a list of policy options for trade and climate policymakers. One key element in that menu of options is to consider making use of the trade system for curbing fossil fuel subsidies. Similar recommendations came from across the E15 project. Meanwhile, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change have provided a framework on which such policy initiatives can be aligned.

Over the past two years, ICTSD has intensified its efforts in this area by exploring and developing innovative and groundbreaking legal and technical policy options for fossil fuel subsidy reform under the trade system. It has also convened trade delegates in Geneva and in capitals, as well as the broader climate change community around this issue, to test and refine ideas and to build support for action. The papers below reflect and record the knowledge generated through this engagement phase of work.


Fossil Fuel Subsidies Reform and Climate Change Mitigation: Options for Constraining Dual Pricing in the Multilateral Trading System

Anna Marhold (December 2017)


How the WTO Can Help Reform Fossil Fuel Subsidies to Tackle Climate Change: Lessons From Fisheries Negotiations

Heloísa Pereira (December 2017)


Fossil Fuel Subsidies Reduction and the WTO

Joel Trachtman (October 2017)


Global Rules for Mutually Supportive and Reinforcing Trade and Climate Regimes

James Bacchus (January 2016)


Rethinking Subsidy Disciplines for the Future

Gary Horlick and Peggy A. Clarke (January 2016)


Enabling the Energy Transition and Scale-up of Clean Energy Technologies: Options for the Global Trade System

Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz (January 2016)


Subsidies, Clean Energy, and Climate Change

Ilaria Espa and Sonia E. Rolland (February 2015)


Securing Policy Space for Clean Energy under the SCM Agreement: Alternative Approaches

Robert Howse (December 2013)



Implemented jointly by ICTSD and the World Economic Forum, the E15Initiative was established to convene world-class experts and institutions to generate strategic analysis and recommendations for government, business, and civil society geared towards strengthening the global trade and investment system for sustainable development.