Index for December 2012

Volume 11, Issue 12

  • (Pacific Environment, San Francisco, 13 December 2012) Conservation groups filed a lawsuit today challenging the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s nearly $3 billion in financing for a massive Australian fossil fuel facility in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Construction and operation of the liquefied natural gas facility will threaten sea turtles, dugongs and many other protected marine species, as well as the Great Barrier Reef itself.
  • (Eurodad, Brussels, 13 December 2012) Export credit debts constitute the largest component of the external bilateral debt of developing countries. Last year, Eurodad research revealed that almost 80% of poor countries’ debts to European governments come from export credit guarantees, which are in most cases driven by commercial, not development objectives.
  • (China Daily, Hong Kong, 15 December 2012) The mainland trade credit insurance industry has been developing rapidly. Export credit insurance is one kind of trade insurance which exporters purchase to yield financial protection in case of any default by overseas buyers or mainland producers. In 2011, export credit insurance's underwriting amount on the mainland reached $216.24 billion, accounting for 11.4 percent of the country's total export amount in the same period and also much higher than the international average.
  • (US Treasury Dept., Washington, 4 May 2012) In February 2012, the United States and China established an international working group of major OECD and non-OECD providers of export financing to make concrete progress towards a set of international guidelines on the provision of official export financing that, taking into account varying national interests and situations, are consistent with international best practices, with the goal of concluding an agreement by 2014.
  • (Jubilee Australia, Sydney, 12 December 2012) This investigative report by Jubilee Australia highlights circumstances, events and impacts associated with Exxon Mobil’s US $19 billion Gas Project in Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Southern Highlands, which has up to $400 million of Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) support.
  • (Oxfam Australia, Brisbane, 1 November 2012) As EFIC would be aware, the Oyu Tolgoi Copper-Gold mine located in southern Mongolia is a massive project. Oyu Tolgoi is reportedly the largest copper-gold deposit in Mongolia and is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits. The scale of Oyu Tolgoi means that it’s many impacts – both positive and negative – will be acutely felt by both local communities and across Mongolia more generally. The project has been classified as a Category A project by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and otherfinanciers.
  • (Halifax Initiative, Ottawa, December 2012) A complex range of public and private institutions provide financing for both corporate and state activity that is associated with human rights abuses. These financial institutions present an opportunity for the widespread dissemination and implementation of the UN Framework on Business and Human Rights. Many of these institutions require borrowers to comply with social and environmental requirements as a condition of financing, but none currently has policies in place to ensure respect for the human rights of those people who are affected by the activities that they finance.
  • (OECD, Paris, 13 November 2012) The OECD’s Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees (ECG) and the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits held a 1/2 day consultation with CSOs on 13 November. The purpose was two-fold: 1st, to update CSOs on recent developments, such as agreement to a new Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Renewable Energies, Climate Change Mitigation and Water Projects (CCSU) and to a revised Recommendation of the Council on the Common Approaches; and, 2nd, to exchange views on issues of interest to CSOs. CSOs represented were: Amnesty International, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, the Coalition for Employment through Exports Inc. of the United States, the Danish Institute of Human Rights, ECA Watch, the Equator Principles Financial Institutions, the European Banking Federation and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD.
  • (Business Standard, New Delhi, 5 December 2012) Government auditor CAG today pulled up Export Credit Guarantee Corporation for not having proper arrangements with banks to finance exporters resulting in a loss of about Rs 310 crore (US$56.6 million) during the period between 2008-09 and 2010-11. Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd (ECGC), which comes under the administrative control of the Commerce Ministry, provides export credit insurance cover to exporters and banks.