Export credit finance for coal under fire

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 30 June 2014) As published last month, NGOs have called for an end to export credit support for high carbon projects. The European Union is supposed to be phasing out all subsidies for domestic coal plants by 2018 and, as noted in another article in this issue of What's New, the US, UK and Netherlands hope to encourage incentives to limit ECA support to low emission coal technologies. But the EU Trade Department has circulated a report saying export credits, or preferential loans to help cover exports costs, should be continued for the most modern coal plant technology, claiming coal as an important energy source is not going to disappear immediately. The issue was to be debated at an OECD Export Credit Working Group meeting in the week of June 16th. ECA preferential support accounted for some US$5 billion from 2007-2013, with Germany, followed by France, being the biggest providers in Europe. Environmental groups continue to insist that all taxpayer subsidized support for all coal and other high carbon projects end.