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The oil price hike in 2007-08 underlined the vulnerability of Indonesia’s energy subsidy policy to oil price volatility. In addition to entailing significant economic and environmental costs, energy subsidies put pressure on the public budget and benefit mostly rich households.
Despite major progress over the last decade, more reforms are needed to meet Indonesia’s medium-term objectives for growth and poverty reduction. The Survey reviews the main challenges in the areas of energy subsidies, infrastructure, labour markets, education, health care and social protection.
The consensus view of scientists is that the build-up of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere is causing global warming. To reduce the probability of severe climate change impacts and costs occurring, global GHG emissions need to be reduced substantially over coming decades.
Sustainable development is a key theme in policy making in Norway. Norway can and should follow through more strongly the logic of its pioneering use of economic incentives to further sustainability goals.
Congestion has become a burden for the Dutch economy. Reforms to the transport system, including public transport, together with a more flexible housing market should reduce the economic and environmental burden of transport, thereby improving prospects for sustainable long term growth.
Portugal has made significant progress in modernising its economy over recent years but the country needs to further pursue structural reforms to restore competitiveness and thus move to more dynamic and sustainable growth.
The economy is recovering from an externally driven recession. Public spending growth must be restrained as planned starting in 2011 to put public finances onto a sustainable path, including in the health sector where efficiency gains and quality improvements are possible.
Korea’s greenhouse gas emissions almost doubled between 1990 and 2005, the highest growth rate in the OECD area.
Concern that unilateral greenhouse gas emission reductions could foster carbon leakage and undermine the international competitiveness of domestic industry has led to growing calls for carbon-based border-tax adjustments (BTAs).
The South African economy is recovering from the crisis. Nevertheless deep structural reforms are necessary. The already strong macroeconomic policy framework should be further strengthened to resist excessive real appreciation.