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  • Author: Alan Gelb, Anit Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Reforming inefficient and inequitable energy subsidies continues to be an important priority for policymakers as does instituting “green taxes” to reduce carbon emissions. Simply increasing energy prices will have adverse impact on poorer consumers, who may spend substantial budget shares on energy and energy-intensive products even though the rich typically appropriate more of the price subsidy. Equitable pricing reforms therefore need to be accompanied by programs to transfer compensation: depending on the situation, this can be targeted or universal. Successful reforms require measures to raise awareness-of the subsidies and the problems they cause, effective dissemination of the reform to the population, and rapid feedback loops to facilitate mid-course corrections. Digital technology, including for unique identification and payments, as well as general communications, can help build government capacity to undertake such reforms and respond to changes in fuel markets. The paper outlines the use of digital technology, drawing on four country cases. The technology is only a mechanism; it does not, in itself, create the political drive and constituency to push reform forward. However, it can be employed in a number of ways to increase the prospects for successful and sustainable reform.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Science and Technology, Reform, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, India, Latin America
  • Author: Todd Moss
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Energy is fundamental to modern life, but 1.3 billion people around the world live without “access to modern electricity.” The current definition of modern energy access—100 kilowatt-hours per person per year—is insufficient and presents an ambition gap with profound implications for human welfare and national economic growth. This report summarizes the energy access problem, the substantial efforts underway to bolster power generation and access in the poorest regions, and highlights concerns about the specific indicators being used to measure progress. It then condenses a set of analytical and conceptual questions the working group grappled with, such as why and how to better measure energy usage and the multiple options that should be considered. The report concludes with five recommendations for the United Nations, International Energy Agency, World Bank, national governments, major donors, and other relevant organizations.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Climate Finance, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus