Index for November 2006

Volume 5, Issue 11

  • (Projecto Gato, Ghent, 28 November 2006) On Friday 3 November 2006, lawyers for ONDD, Belgium's export credit agency, wrote to ECA Watch member Projecto Gato asking them to remove information on their web site to the effect that ONDD had approved coverage for a Jan de Nul dredging contract which is part of the giant Shell Oil led Sakhalin II gas and oil project in Russia's far east.
  • (EURODAD, Brussels, 3 October 2006) Norway's Government has, in effect, admitted that it's lending to 5 developing countries for the purchase of Norwegian ships between 1976 and 1980 was irresponsible and motivated by domestic concerns, rather than the development needs of the countries involved. It is hoped that the Norwegian announcement will now prompt other creditor countries to open public and serious enquiries into their export credit lending policies and practices.
  • (WWF UK, Surrey, 9 November 2006) The ECGD provided over £2 billion in financing last year, primarily to support the supply of aircraft and hydrocarbon extraction. The ECGD currently has no clear recognition of its impacts on climate change or a strategy for reducing them.
  • (OECD, Paris, 3 November 2006) OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría has welcomed the publication this week of the Stern Review to the UK government on the economic consequences of climate change. “I have already indicated to the UK government the OECD’s willingness to make further contributions to the detailed action programme needed to tackle the potentially devastating consequences of climate change.”
  • (ECA Watch, Paris, 28 November 2006) With world attention increasingly focussed on the climate impact of energy projects, dams, resource extraction, aircraft emissions and other infrastructure projects, many of which are supported by annual official export credits of US$104 Billion, OECD ECAs have failed again to reach consensus on revisions to the OECD Recommendation on Common Approaches on Environment and Officially Supported Export Credits. Beginning in late 2005 and targeted for completion in November 2006, negotiations have been extended to early 2007, with wide differences reported remaining between OECD Members on necessary changes.
  • (People's Daily Online, Beijing, 23 November 2006) The Russian government is keen to assist Indonesia in building its first nuclear reactor Russia's Ambassador said in Jakarta Thursday. The issue will be raised during a 1 December 2006 Moscow meeting between Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vladimir Putin, when US$1 Billion in Russian export credits to Indonesia for arms purchases will be discussed.
  • (AP, Moscow, 14 November 2006) A top environmental regulator suggested Tuesday that Russia could seek up to US$15 billion (€11.7 billion) for environmental damages and other losses it blames on a Shell-led consortium involved in the Sakhalin liquefied natural gas project in the Far East. Several OECD ECAs are currently actively considering support for the project.
  • (Guardian, London, 15 November 2006) Export credit agencies are examining ways they can insure carbon trading contracts while serious questions are being raised about the fundamental viability of the market. The author of a new report from ECA Watch UK member The Corner House (PDF) notes that carbon credits are just a new instrument for northern energy companies to exploit the developing world.
  • (IRN, Berkeley, 21 November 2006) A new action guide from IRN tells the stories of people affected by dams and the stories of people who fight for their rights and their rivers. The guide shares lessons and ideas from the growing international anti-dam movement and outlines successful struggles against destructive dams, many of which are supported by export credit agencies.
  • (Toronto Star, Toronto, 24 November 2006) Nickel soared to a 19-year high amid supply fears after a French court ordered Inco Ltd. to halt construction on part of its massive Goro nickel project in New Caledonia due to environmental concerns. As noted in our June 2006 What's New, at least one OECD ECA is still considering support for this giant controversial mine.