Earth Track was founded in 1999 by Doug Koplow to more effectively integrate information on energy subsidies. Earth Track works to develop comprehensive and accurate information on government interventions in energy markets through direct research and by forging partnerships with organizations and individuals around the world. By developing this data, we aim to inform local, national, and international bodies about how the interaction of their many policies affect energy markets, environmental quality, trade, and fiscal health. Earth Track information ensures greater alignment between environmental goals and fiscal and regulatory policies.
Interventions come in a range of guises, including tax breaks, special taxes, below-market loans or insurance, loan guarantees, direct grants, regulatory exemptions, or subsidies associated with direct government provision of energy goods or services. They can act either as subsidies (artificially reducing the cost of certain commodities) or as taxes (artificially increasing the cost of certain commodities).
While global efforts are underway to curb climate change, restructure energy markets, and transition to cleaner energy sources, there is very little information on how existing policies impede the achievement of these goals. Without this information, both markets and governments make less informed decisions about what energy to buy and what new technologies to invest in. Earth Track's role is to:
- Consolidate and standardize information on government interventions in energy markets from hundreds of sources and data providers in countries around the world.
- Provide an unbiased source of information on these policies outside of the pressures and politics of international organizations.
- Present information on subsidies and complicated financial, accounting, and regulatory policies in a manner accessible to non-technical audiences.
- Present a holistic picture of the impact of government policies by energy type, type of policy, or geographic region.
- Quantify the value of existing subsidies and taxes whenever possible to allow evaluation of time trends, patterns across fuels and regions, and to serve as inputs to macro-economic models.
Disclaimer: The Earth Track is the original source for some content in the Encyclopedia of Earth. The Earth Track is listed as a content source on each article that uses such content. Topic editors and authors for the Encyclopedia of Earth may have edited this content or added new information. The use of information from the Earth Track should not be construed as support for or endorsement by that organization for any new information added by Encyclopedia of Earth personnel, or for any editing of the original content.