ECA Watch: International NGO Campaign on Export Credit Agencies
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The Problems

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Germany's ECA:
Kreditversicherungs-AG (HERMES)



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Did You Know?

Euler Hermes Kreditversicherungs-AG (Hermes), the German ECA, has guaranteed some of the world's most controversial projects including the Three Gorges Dam, Tehri Dam, the BTC pipeline, and the Paiton 2 power plant. It is often criticized for its lack of transparency and environmental standards.

"Hermes, Stop Sitting It Out!"

-A wake-up call against Germany's stubborn refusal to agree to the environmental guidelines of the OECD, 2002

Photo Credit: ECA Watch

* Important Background Documents on Germany
* Hermes Projects Summary
* News Items 2004-05

Important Background Documents:

ECA factsheets in German

GLOBAL ALLIANCE AGAINST THE GERMANS March 12, 2002 by Spiegel-Online

Letter from NGOs to the German Chancellor Schroeder on the German position on negotiations for an environmental agreement for Export Credit and Investment Insurance Agencies (ECAs) at the OECD September 17, 2001

Hermes Projects Summary:

The projects guaranteed by Hermes often come under fire due to their extreme environmental hazards. These projects include coal plants like the Paiton 2 coal energy plant in Indonesia, criticized because of alleged corruption and Indonesia’s great potential for sustainable alternatives, such as geothermal or solar power. Hermes also guarantees nuclear power plants in places like China, Lithuania, and Argentina, even though Germany itself is nuclear-free. The effects of such projects are now the subject of a lawsuit that Germanwatch and Friends of the Earth, Germany (BUND) have filed against the German government. They claim that the activities of Hermes are not transparent enough and the projects guaranteed by them are irresponsibly adding to global warming. In addition to the environmental damage created by these projects, they often lead to displacement of thousands of people, which is the case for India’s Tehri Dam, or over a million dispaced in the case of the Three Gorges Dam. The embattled BTC pipeline passes through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Projects backed by Hermes may also lead the host countries into debt. The Indonesian government stated it could not pay for the energy the Paiton power project was going to create, but the plant was built anyway. When the plant closed and went into debt itself, people who had been forced to rely on the plant were left without power.

More Info on the German ECA Climate Suit

Current status of the German ECA lawsuit: FoE Germany and Germanwatch v. Ministry of Economy (PDF) - January 2005 BUND

More Info on the Three Gorges Dam

More Info on the Tehri Dam

More Info on the BTC Pipeline

The Paiton Debacle by Environmental Defense

German Government announces further ECA reform by WEED

News 2004-2005:

WEED Authors Guide to Investment Guarantees August 2004 - Download the newest WEED publication: Investment Guarantees - a 22-page booklet for activists on investment guarantees.  You can also download it from the WEED Website:

German ECA Hermes to Protect Investment in Libya August 13, 2004

German Government Sued Over Climate Change Created by Its ECA June 15, 2004

Three ECAs to Support Railway Project in Philippines February 21, 2004

For more information, contact the ECA Watch Facilitator.

ECA Watch Campaign Member Links:

Urgewald / Kampagne für den Regenwald, Regine Richter, Heffa Schücking, -

BUND / Friends of the Earth Germany, Markus Steigenberger -

WEED, Heike Drillisch, Daniela Setton -


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