Project Title

APEC Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Capacity-Building Workshop 

Project Year

2015   

Project Number

EWG 19 2015A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

EWG 19 2015A 

Project Title

APEC Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Capacity-Building Workshop 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Energy Efficiency 

Project Year

2015 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

47,500 

Co-funding Amount

91,048 

Total Project Value

138,548 

Sponsoring Forum

Energy Working Group (EWG) 

Topics

Energy 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

United States 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Malaysia; New Zealand; Philippines; Chinese Taipei 

Expected Start Date

31/10/2015 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2016 

Project Proponent Name 1

Elena Thomas-Kerr 

Job Title 1

Senior Advisor, Office of Asia and the Americas 

Organization 1

US Department of Energy 

Postal Address 1

1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20585, USA 

Telephone 1

1-202 5866566 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

elena.thomas-kerr@hq.doe.gov 

Project Proponent Name 2

Ann Katsiak 

Job Title 2

Deputy Chief of Party 

Organization 2

US-APEC Technical Assistance to Advance Regional Integration (US-ATAARI) 

Postal Address 2

2101 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, USA 

Telephone 2

1-703 5167700 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

akatsiak@nathaninc.com 

Declaration

Elena Thomas-Kerr and Ann Katsiak 

Project Summary

Global fossil fuel subsidies have exceeded US$500 billion per year, encouraging excessive fossil fuel consumption with harmful CO2 emissions. APEC Leaders have annually committed to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that lead to wasteful consumption while providing essential energy services. In support of this commitment, some APEC economies have begun reforms or undertaken peer reviews. This capacity building workshop is intended to review progress made, share approaches and identify best practices for developing sound policy options for subsidy reform.  The workshop, on the margins of an EWG meeting, will convene APEC, G20 and other economies to share experiences with subsidy reform, including those that have benefited from subsidy peer reviews. Experts from the IEA, IMF, World Bank and other organizations providing technical and analytical support for subsidy reform will be invited to share strategies for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. (This builds upon an FFS assessment in EWG 11 2010.)

Relevance

APEC, G20 and other leaders have recognized that inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies encourage wasteful energy consumption, hinder progress towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, are costly to governments, and often fail to provide assistance to the poorer, vulnerable populations they are intended to help. The IMF and IEA estimate that global fossil fuel subsidies have reached US$500 billion per year and can impede investments in clean and renewable energy development that are vital to sustainable growth. The IEA has also noted that global fossil fuel subsidies are nearly four times the subsidies for renewable energy. Since 2009, APEC and G20 Leaders have committed to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, while recognizing the importance of providing those in need with essential energy services. The Energy Working Group (EWG) has initiated fossil fuel subsidy (FFS) peer reviews and capacity building activities to support the APEC Leaders’ mandate. The G20 has also recently initiated fossil fuel subsidy peer reviews.

This workshop will support EWG capacity building efforts for FFS reform by sharing experiences with domestic reform and/or FFS peer reviews among APEC, G20 and other economies. This will also bring in the perspective from international experts that provide technical and analytical assistance worldwide on best strategies for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. By sharing lessons learned across APEC and partner economies and organizations, and highlighting successful strategies, the workshop will help APEC economies better understand the impact of their fossil fuel subsidy programs and policies, and identify effective ways to pursue reform while providing essential energy services to those in need. In addition to reducing harmful emissions, savings from the elimination of such subsidies can be redirected to clean and renewable energy development and/or programs that provide more effective social services to poor and vulnerable populations in greatest need. 

Finally, the project aligns with Rank 1 of Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities, as well as within Rank 2, directly supporting the APEC Leader’s Growth Strategy tenet of sustainable growth. Capacity building to help eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that cause wasteful energy consumption will help promote energy efficiency, energy security and energy resiliency including the development of low carbon technology and alternative energy sources, and promotes sustainable growth across the APEC region more generally.

Objectives

This workshop has two primary objectives. The first is to create a framework for cooperation and information sharing among APEC, G20 and other economies and organizations on assessing FFS impacts and identifying options for fossil fuel subsidy reform. The second objective is to share lessons learned and best practices to help build capacity across the APEC region and provide recommendations for effective strategies that individual economies can consider as they pursue their own domestic subsidy reform policies and programs.

Alignment

This project directly supports APEC Leaders’ annual commitment since 2009 to “rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, while recognizing the importance of providing those in need with essential energy services” and to “continue to build regional capacity to assist APEC economies.” In 2011, Leaders agreed to set up a voluntary reporting mechanism on progress and directed the Energy Working Group to help economies report the subsidies they have in place and to help build capacity in APEC’s economies.  Energy Ministers continue to reaffirm the APEC Leaders’ commitment and noted that “as we continue efforts to expand energy access for poor and rural populations, the reduction of subsidies will encourage more energy efficient consumption, leading to a positive impact on international energy prices and energy security, and will make renewable energy and technologies more competitive.” (EMM10, June 2012.) Reducing fossil fuel subsidies will also contribute to broader Leaders’ goals of reducing energy intensity by 45 percent by 2035 and supporting sustainable development. 

In 2013, the EWG endorsed guidelines for voluntary peer reviews of inefficient fossil fuel subsidy reform (VPR/IFFSR) to assess APEC’s progress towards its green growth agenda, on which this project directly builds. Further, this project supports the most recent EWG Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 to “Strengthen Energy Security” by encouraging “the removal of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that promote wasteful consumption” and sharing “results and best practices from peer reviews” toward that end. To carry out the Leaders’ mandate, the EWG supports peer reviews of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and tracks APEC economy progress in phasing out such subsidies. These efforts aim to help APEC economies better understand the impact of their fossil fuel subsidy programs and policies, and find effective ways to pursue reform. This capacity building workshop supports these efforts by continuing to share best practices for implementing FFS reform.

TILF/ASF Justification

Given the complexities in fossil fuel subsidy reform and noting that developing economies are a primary participant in the voluntary peer review process, this workshop provides developing economies in particular the opportunity to learn best practices in subsidy reform, and understand the components of a peer review as one tool to facilitate domestic reforms.  The workshop will help equip developing economy energy and finance officials with the knowledge and capacity to build domestic support to undertake domestic reforms and/or participant in the peer review process. For those developing economies like Peru and the Philippines who will have already completed their reviews by the time of the workshop, it will also build the capacity of those economies to discuss the results of the review process in order to share their experience with their APEC colleagues, including with developing economies considering subsidy reform.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: The main output of this project will be a 1.5 day workshop, implemented on the margins of the December 2015 Energy Working Group Meeting. In addition, the project proponents will develop a short summary of the workshop outcomes, including recommendations and best practices discussed, for distribution following the workshop. These recommendations and best practices are intended for APEC economies to consider as they review their domestic subsidies and consider reform. They are also intended to facilitate future capacity building activities within the EWG to further efforts toward phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. The EWG can build upon these recommendations and best practices, along with specific recommendations resulting from individual peer reviews, to provide economies with broader options for reform. 

Specifically, the project overseers are inviting economies to present on their own domestic experiences with subsidy reform and/or with FFSR peer reviews. These specific examples are case studies that will be shared at the workshop, with a summary disseminated to APEC economies. The outcome of this workshop will complement the ongoing individual FFS peer reviews, which result in detailed substantive reports describing the fossil fuel subsidies reviewed and the expert recommendations. These case studies are shared with the EWG and also posted on the EWG website. To date, the Peru and New Zealand reviews have been disseminated to the EWG members. Once more peer reviews are completed, a potential follow-on project could include developing a comprehensive compendium of best practices using case studies from the various peer reviews as well as the results from this workshop. 

Outcomes: This capacity building workshop will better equip APEC energy and finance government officials with the knowledge and expertise to 1) consider options to initiative or revise domestic fossil fuel subsidy reform measures, 2) understanding the benefits of expert peer reviews, consider volunteering for a peer review if they have not done so already, 3) engage in the peer review process in their own or other APEC economies, and 4) continue to share lessons learned with APEC partners in future discussions on fossil fuel subsidy reform. It will also serve as an opportunity to discuss in detail experiences with reform measures already undertaken, as well as the results of several APEC and G20 peer reviews completed to date to improve upon the peer review process, which in term will impact in the near and medium term the implementation and structure of the peer reviews to facilitate domestic reform. The expertise and best practices shared by international organization representatives having worked with APEC economies and other global partners on fossil fuel subsidy reform will provide additional policy practices and recommendations that can facilitate reform. This discussion and sharing of best practices will inform ongoing domestic reform efforts being undertaken by APEC economies and inform peer reviews as more economies undertake them in future years. 

Beneficiaries: Workshop participants from APEC, G20 and other economies will directly benefit from the lessons learned and effective strategies highlighted during the workshop for implementing FFS reform.  This information will assist policymakers, energy and finance ministries and other decision-makers involved in considering FFS policies and programs and providing targeted assistance to poorer populations, who will be among longer-term beneficiaries as these reforms are implemented. The public will benefit from the elimination of wasteful subsidies and redirecting those savings to programs of greater public benefit. 

Specifically, direct project participants will be EWG officials as well as other energy and finance officials that will attend specifically for the FFSR workshop. These will likely be mid-level officials and experts in energy policy; those who have worked previously with fossil fuel subsidy reform in their home economies or foreign economies; experts from multinational corporations, NGOs, and industry associations in the energy industry with experience in fossil fuel subsidy work and/or redirecting funds from fossil fuel subsidies to clean energy or other social services programs. 

The workshop will encourage active participation of women from APEC economies to engage in the subsidy reform dialogue. In the long-term, as economies phase out inefficient FFS and better target subsidies to vulnerable populations, women who often bear significant responsibilities in low-income households and communities should benefit from improved policies and programs.

Dissemination

The presentations made at the workshop, along with the written summary on the results of the workshop will be broadly distributed among APEC EWG, G20 and other participants, including international experts attending the workshop. The materials will be posted electronically on the EWG and APEC websites and shared among EWG expert groups. The results of the workshop may be shared more broadly with other fora that work on fossil fuel subsidy reform, including posting the results or a summary of the workshop on their respective websites as well. This workshop will also serve as the basis for future APEC discussions and capacity building activities on inefficient fossil fuel subsidy reform.

Gender

Women will be directly and actively involved in the project. The workshop organizers will be careful to include women speakers and participants in the workshop.  The organizers will also encourage women to be involved during the preparatory stage and actual activity. Invitations sent to EWG will take due consideration of gender concerns by encouraging the suggestion and nomination of female speakers and participants.

In addition, the project proponents will ensure that the evaluation forms to be distributed at the end of the workshop will include information on gender for disaggregating of data for project assessment and will help in evaluation of specific responses of women and men.

Substantively, fossil fuel subsidy reform should result in more targeted assistance to low-income and vulnerable populations, including populations living in remote or rural communities. Since women often bear significant responsibilities in low-income households and communities, they should benefit from improved policies and programs resulting from the recommendations and best practices shared at this workshop.

Work Plan

This workshop, to be held on the margins of an EWG meeting, December 14-15, 2015 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The event will bring together experts from APEC, G20 and other economies that have initiated domestic reforms and/or peer reviews and experts from international organizations and multilateral development banks that provide technical and analytical support for fossil fuel subsidy reform (e.g., IEA, IMF, World Bank, ADB, IRENA, IISD/GSI).

Planned activities are as follows:

1)  August 2015 to September 2015: Identify key stakeholders; develop draft agenda; identify appropriate workshop venue (completed).

Output: Draft Agenda, and invitation issued.

2) October to November 2015: Develop list of proposed speakers and other meeting participants; finalize logistics; book venue; hire contractors to facilitate meeting; invite speakers and other attendees.

Outputs: venue contract, participant list, revised agenda

3) November 2015: Finalize agenda and all speakers. Hold speaker calls to prepare for presentations and receive all draft presentations for review. Develop any breakout group materials.

Outputs: finalized agenda, speaker materials.

4) December 2015: Conduct workshop sharing lessons learned, best practices, and effective reform strategies on the margins of an EWG meeting.

Output: Workshop

5) December/January 2016:  Disseminate findings to APEC economies via an outcomes report.

Output- outcomes report.

Risks

The major risk is ensuring that we get a good number of targeted officials and experts in the room for the workshop- given the location and the timing it might be challenging for some officials to attend. In order to mitigate this risk, the project overseers will actively reach out to targeted speakers and participants well in advance of the workshop, and will also work with EWG delegates and representatives to identify the most appropriate representatives in each of the economies. The invitation will also be issued well in advance to ensure sufficient time for participants and speakers to plan for attendance at the event. 

From a substantive perspective, there may be a lack of appetite for economies to volunteer for FFSR peer reviews and/or implement domestic FFS reforms. The very purpose of this workshop is to explain the process of peer reviews and demonstrate their value, and to describe the benefits of reform measures to redirect funding for subsidies to more targeted support. The project overseers and overall champions of the FFS initiative are also continuing to work directly with possible volunteer economies to explain the process, discuss possible impact, and bring additional economies on board to the peer review process. 

While it might not be possible, the project overseers will explore possible remote participation and at the very least, ensure all presentations are circulated to the broader group.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The project overseers will design and distribute an evaluation questionnaire at the end of workshop on Day 2, taking care to build time into the agenda before the conclusion of the workshop so that speakers and participants can complete it.  Participants will be able to provide qualitative feedback on the two day workshop program through the questionnaire, including suggestions for areas of follow up. In terms of participation (a quantitative indicator), the results and feedback will be closely reviewed through an evaluation form that will be given to participants at the workshop, collected and reviewed. 

The project overseers will review these evaluations and finalize the feedback prior to finalizing the workshop report and deliverables. In addition, the US implementers will send a follow up survey, one year after the workshop, to ask how and if participants are using the knowledge that they acquired. All of these results for both will be disaggregated by sex as part of the evaluations. The indicator for the follow up survey will be knowledge gained/knowledge applied. 

The EWG will also track which economies have volunteered for the peer reviews and what recommendations they are implementing, and we hope both of those indicators see an impact from this workshop. The strategies identified in this workshop and resulting from this dialogue should inform domestic reform policies and programs in individual economies. A key metric for success will be the implementation of effective strategies to rationalize and phase out inefficient subsidies in the region over the long-term. The EWG tracks APEC-wide progress toward this goal and reports to the APEC Energy Ministers and Leaders on progress.

Project overseers anticipate 35-45 workshop attendees and targets 40-50% to be female. There is not an expectation that new commitments for peer review occur at the meeting, but hopefully at least 2 new commitments occur in 2016, with further volunteers in 2017.

Linkages

This workshop builds upon information and lessons learned from EWG 11 2010, “Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies to Reduce Waste and Limit CO2 Emissions while Protecting the Poor,” which conducted an initial assessment of fossil fuel subsidies in the APEC region and provided an analytical framework for supporting reform measures. This also builds upon a 2011 IEA report on fossil fuel subsidies across the APEC region as a basis for comparison with current subsidies. 

By the time of the workshop, the EWG will have completed three FFS peer reviews and with additional peer reviews planned, and several APEC economies have initiated domestic reforms. This workshop will invite APEC, G20 and other economies that have undertaken domestic reform measures and/or peer reviews to share lessons from their own experiences. This information exchange should help inform their ongoing reform efforts. Other APEC economies that have yet to implement reform measures will benefit from this information exchange as they consider their own domestic fossil fuel subsidies, assess their impacts and develop options for reform.

Sustainability

This workshop will provide a forum for sharing lessons learned, best practices, and international experiences with inefficient fossil fuel subsidy reform, including communication strategies and steps for implementing reform. These lessons will be carried through the reform process in individual economies. APEC economies that have yet to volunteer for peer reviews, can undergo reviews to receive more detailed policy recommendations having learned from the process discussed in the workshop.

Possible next steps may include the following:

1) Transfer of knowledge from participants to other colleagues in their home economies who are involved with subsidy reform measures and implementation of public services to those populations in greatest need.

2) Adoption of best practices and recommendations discussed in the workshop.

3) Use of results or outcomes from this workshop as input for updated studies on the status of subsidies in the APEC region.

4) Follow up workshops or meetings after additional peer reviews have been conducted and/or additional economies have undertaken reform to continue the capacity building and information-sharing process, including in collaboration with other international organizations discussing subsidy reform.

Project Overseers

Ms. Thomas-Kerr is a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy and currently serves as the U.S. Representative to the APEC Energy Working Group.  She is engaged on clean and sustainable energy policies and programs and has served as an advisor within the U.S. government on these issues. She has 15 years of experience in bilateral and multilateral programs focused on a range of energy and national security issues at the U.S. Department of Energy. Ms. Thomas-Kerr holds a MA in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. 

Ms. Katsiak is deputy chief of party of the US-APEC US – APEC Technical Assistance to Advance Regional Integration and has managed and implemented more than ten APEC workshops over the last three years. She has more than 8 years of experience in trade facilitation and economic development issues, and presently provides program management and technical expertise on ASEAN and APEC programs for USAID. Ms. Katsiak holds an MA in International Affairs from George Washington University.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

 

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Version: 4.0 
Created at 02/12/2015 12:22  by Lucy Phua 
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Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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