Many countries have turned to fossil fuel subsidies at some point or another to reduce energy costs in order to cut transportation bills, prop up industries, or finance household electrification, particularly for the poorest families. At the same time, many studies have found that the economic and environmental costs of fossil fuel subsidies far outweighs any of its perceived social benefits, which can be achieved by other more effective means.
Drawing on its global experience and extensive analysis of fossil fuel subsidies, the International Energy Agency (IEA) undertook this in-depth look at reforms of fossil fuel subsidies in Mexico and Indonesia. These two case studies provide an overview of fuel subsidies in each country and then focus on transport fuels in Indonesia and electricity in Mexico. The study sets out a series of policy recommendations for both countries, and concludes that governments should not limit fuel subsidy reforms to technical measures. Rather they should engage the public at every step of the way, undertake detailed consultations and public opinion surveys, and set up a process that develops public participation and acceptance for the policies.
These findings should be of interest to policy makers considering or implementing reforms to fossil fuel subsidies as well as readers following developments in global and regional energy markets.