Gas and Mining
Did You Know?
ECAs are the largest source of public funding for the fossil fuel and mining sector. From 1994 to 1999 ECAs provided more than USD $40B in loans and guarantees to upstream oil and gas development projects without any basic environmental requirements or attempts to promote sustainability. When ECAs provide loans and guarantees for fossil fuel and mining projects they contribute to economic and environmental imbalances and the inequality of international relations. Fossil fuel and mining projects endorse environmental destruction, corruption of local governments, long-term fossil fuel dependence, global climate change, human rights violations and further deepen the national debt of already heavily indebted poor countries. One of the largest oil and gas projects in the world backed by ECAs is the Sakhalin II integrated oil and gas project in Russia. The Baku-T'bilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline is another major ECA-backed project that is a focus of reform efforts. Another project of concern is the Inco Nickel Mining project on Kanaky (New Caledonia).
"There is no body of statistical evidence demonstrating that fossil fuel and mining investments substantially
enhance GDP for most developing countries, or that these projects deliver measurable benefits to human
development for the poor.."
-Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh, NHDR Network Group in 2003 report Impact of Hydrocarbons
Children playing at site of the BTC pipeline project. Source: Bankwatch, Photo credit: F. Daburon and P.M.Coupry
Important Background Documents on Oil, Gas and Mining
Background and SEC materials on Inco's Goro Nickel project in New Caledonia - December 2005 SEC reports from Inco
Race to the Bottom II [PDF] - Sept. 2003 by ECA Watch; containing an important Sakhalin II case study.
Phasing Out International Financial Institution Financing for Fossil Fuel and Mining Projects, Demanding Local Communtiy Self-Determination [PDF] - July. 2001 by Friends of the Earth International; postition paper conerning ECA financing of fossil fuel and mining projects.
BTC Pipeline Project Summary:
The Baku-T’bilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is intended to carry oil from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea for shipment to the West. The pipeline does not adhere to any formal environmental standards and
has been a source of social and political conflicts across Azerbaijan,
Georgia, and Turkey.
Sakhalin II Project Summary:
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Export Credit Agencies of the UK, US, and Japan may provide as much as USD $5B in financing for the controversial Sakhalin II oil and gas project located in the species-rich yet sensitive on and off-shore habitats at Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East. This financing may leverage billions of dollars more from large international private banks such as Credit Suisse First Boston.
Kanaky Nickel Mining Project Summary:
or New Caledonia, a country under French rule in the Southwestern
Pacific, is one of the most unusual biodiversity hotspots on earth. Kanaky has sometimes been called the "El Dorado of Nickel" by the international mining community.
Bonny Island LNG Project Summary:
Bribery scandals have plagued the Bonny Island LNG operations, and at the same time the operations threaten a large area of mangrove forests, which local people depend upon for fishing.
Australian and South African ECAs Support Zambian Copper Mine August 10, 2005 (The Post, Zambia)
Chad-Cameroon Pipeline: Ongoing Damages, Inadequate Compensation May 19, 2005 (Source: Fondation Camerounaise pour une Action Rationalisée des Femmes sur l'Environnement [FOCARFE], Cameroon)
OPIC Promises $250M in Support to Israeli Gas Pipeline November 22, 2004 (GLOBES, Israel)
Campaigners Demand Independent Inquiry into Allegations over Controversial Pipeline [Word Document] February 18, 2004 Press release: Baku-Ceyhan Campaign,
The Cornerhouse, Friends of the Earth, Kurdish Human Rights Project, PLATFORM - "Oil Giant BP Accused of Major Corruption and Cover-Up."
Enron's Pipeline Pain August, 2002 by Jimmy Langman, "At issue is the role of U.S. government agency Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC), which doled out US$3 billion to support Enron’s international projects during the 1990s."
Export Agencies Sued Over Warming August 27, 2002 (The Washington Post).
NGO Statement on the Camisea Project November 1, 2002 Amazon Watch, Bank Information Center, Environmental Defense, Friends of the Earth, Institute for Policy Studies, Rainforest Action Network.
For more information, contact the ECA Watch Facilitator.
ECA Watch Campaign Member Links:
Environmental Defense, Stephanie Fried, Ph.D.- www.environmentaldefense.org
Friends of the Earth - France (Amis de la Terre) - www.amisdelaterre.org