Making the Switch

From fossil fuel subsidies to sustainable energy

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This report estimates fossil fuel subsidies to be around USD 425 billion. Such subsidies represent large lost opportunities for governments to invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable development. Removal of subsidies can lead to carbon emission reductions (6 to 8 per cent by 2050 globally), Reductions that can be improved further with a switch or a "SWAP" towards sustainable energy. This report describes the scale and impact of fossil fuel subsidies on sustainable development. It describes the SWAP concept to switch savings made from fossil fuel subsidy reform, towards sustainable energy, energy efficiency and safety nets. The report provides potential SWAP outlines for Bangladesh, Indonesia, Morocco and Zambia. "Making the Switch" was written for the Nordic Council Ministers by the Global Subsidies Initiative of IISD and Gaia Consulting.




In 2014, final energy consumption in Zambia was approximately 100 TWh, the majority of which was derived from biomass (78 per cent), which is used for cooking by households and the industry, while hydro and imported oil represent an approximate share of 10 per cent each. Approximately 28 per cent of the population has access to electricity (RECP, 2017), of which around 97 per cent was generated from hydropower in 2014. In recent years, power shortages and lack of rainfall have driven declines in hydro-generation and increases in output and investment of fuel oil-based generators. To meet rising electricity demand, plans are underway to invest in a range of new options, including hydro, coal, wind and solar generation, and even nuclear power with emphasis on energy efficiency and climate change mitigation.


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