This article examines and compares efforts to reduce energy subsidies in China, India and Russia. Despite dissimilarities in forms of governance, these three states have followed surprisingly similar patterns in reducing energy subsidies, characterised by two steps forward, one step back. Non-democratic governments and energy importers might be expected to be more likely to halt subsidies. In fact, the degree of democracy and status as net energy exporters or importers does not seem to significantly affect these countries’ capacity to reduce subsidies, as far as can be judged from the data in this article. Politicians in all three fear that taking unpopular decisions may provoke social unrest.
- Energy subsidies