The 2030 Agenda calls for a “robust, voluntary, effective, participatory, transparent and integrated follow-up and review framework” to monitor progress against the SDGs (United Nations, 2015). A global SDG indicator framework was adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017 as per the Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/RES/71/313). One of the indicators included in the framework is SDG indicator 12.c.1 is “Amount of fossil fuel subsidies per unit of GDP (production and consumption)”. This indicator is under the custodianship of UN Environment.

In order to measure fossil fuel subsidies at the national, regional and global level, three sub-indicators are recommended for reporting on this indicator:

  1. direct transfer of government funds;
  2. induced transfers (price support); and as an optional sub-indicator
  3. tax expenditure, other revenue foregone, and under-pricing of goods and services (as summarized in the table below).

It is recommended to follow a phased approach, moving gradually from global to national datasets, and to build up better datasets. This should build as much as possible on existing statistical systems. To facilitate the reporting by national governments and the harmonisation with and integration into existing statistical systems, it is recommended to develop practical guidance notes on how to measure and monitor specific types of subsidies in the existing statistical frameworks. The justification for the scope of reporting against the indicator is also included in the below table. Care should be given if a country chooses to aggregate across the three sub-indicators in order to avoid double counting and all three sub-indicators should be publicly available to ensure transparency.

Measuring Fossil Fuel Subsidies in the Context of the Sustainable Development Goals therefore sets out to describe current international and national practices of monitoring fossil fuel subsidies, and proposes a methodology for the global and national monitoring of fossil fuel subsidies. Chapter I introduces the relevance of fossil fuel subsidies for the SDGs. Chapter II explains the requirements for monitoring SDG Indicator 12.c.1, and sets out options for the SDG monitoring. Chapter III gives an overview of the current state of monitoring and describes best practice methods for measuring fossil fuel subsidies. Chapter IV proposes a methodology for reporting against SDG Indicator 12.c.1.


Publication Details
Publication place:
Nairobi, Kenya
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