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Sustainability Criteria for Fisheries Subsidies - Options for the WTO and Beyond

Inappropriate subsidies contribute to widespread overfishing and to the distortion of trade in fisheries products. Current negotiations in the World Trade organization aim to address this problem through binding new subsidies rules. Meanwhile, many governments are working to reform their domestic fisheries subsidies programmes. But some fisheries subsidies will undoubtedly continue to be used for years to come. In this context, a knowledge of the policies and practices that can reduce the risks associated with these subsidies is critically important.

Splash and Dash: The perils of subsidy

"Absolutely not," says Doug Koplow of the Cambridge, Mass.-based group Earth Track. He pointed to the fact that biofuel plantations often require the destruction of rainforests, causing greater net carbon emissions and destroying animal habitats. “You can say we’re growing crops for biofuels from pre-existing farmland, but then the offsetting food production begins to cut into natural habitat," he added.

BIOFUELS - AT WHAT COST? Government support for ethanol and biodiesel in China

According to government data commissioned by the GSI, China provided a total of RMB 780 million (US$ 115 million, roughly US$ 0.40 a litre) in biofuel subsidies in 2006. These comprised support for ethanol in the form of direct output-linked subsidies paid to the five licensed producers, as well as tax exemptions and low-interest loans for capital investment. Further support is provided through mandatory consumption of ethanol-blended fuel in ten provinces (a ten per cent blend with gasoline, E10).

Towards a Common Methodology for Measuring Irrigation Subsidies

Irrigation accounts for 70 to 90 percent of total water use in developing countries and for more than one third of water use in many Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The significance of irrigation in increasing agricultural production and in meeting the food-grain requirements of the world has been well recognized.

Biofuels – At What Cost? Government support for ethanol and biodiesel in Canada

This study aims to reduce this complex debate to two simple questions: how much money are Canadian federal and provincial governments spending to support liquid biofuels—fuel-grade ethanol and biodiesel—and does it represent good value-for-money to Canadian taxpayers?

It is one of a series of reports undertaken by the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) examining government support for biofuels in selected countries.

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