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Export credit agences provide government-backed loans, guarantees and insurance to corporations working internationally in some of the most volatile, controversial and damaging industries on the planet.

Shrouded in mystery, ECAs provide financial backing for risky projects that might never otherwise get off the ground. They are a major source of national debt in developing countries.

ECA Watch is a network of NGOs from around the world. We come together to campaign for ECA reform - better transparency, accountability, and respect for environmental standards and human rights.

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ECA Watch releases report 'ECAs and Human Rights: Failure to Protect'

GENEVA - December 3, 2014.

International civil society network ECA Watch released a new report today titled Export Credit and Human Rights: Failure to Protect at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. The report calls on states to fulfill their duty to protect human rights through the operations of their export credit agencies.                   

ECA Watch What's New November 2014

What's New! is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive What's New! you can subscribe at www.eca-watch.org  Questions? Email info@eca-watch.org

  • Activists demand end of massive OECD support for fossil fuels
  • ECAs and human rights to be discussed at UN Forum on Business and Human Rights
  • Record year' for bank coal financing as latest UN climate warning looms
  • France to stop export credits for coal projects in developing countries
  • US/China economic negotiations include new export credit guidelines
  • Japan coal power plant export push hits U.S. Resistance
  • NGOs question Italy's SACE intent to support Mochovce nuclear plant
  • Russia to extend US$270m export credit to Armenia for extending nuclear power operation
  • Financing banks and ECAs announced for SOCAR STAR refinery in Turkey
  • Korean ECA defrauded by "cool" client
  • Britain's export credit agency targets small business as banks retreat
  • UK export credit agency to guarantee sukuk bond for first time
  • Republicans rekindle fight over U.S. export lender
  • Coface and US Ex-Im compete for satellite industry subsidies

Activists demand end of massive OECD support for fossil fuels

(ECA Watch, Brussels, 18 November 2014) In the week of Nov. 18-21 a secretive body within the OECD discussed the potential revision of the “gentlemen’s agreement” under which they provide billions of dollars of public financing into the fossil fuel sector through their member export credit agencies. On November 18th, prior to a meeting with the OECD Export Credit Group, activists from the Export Credit Agency Watch network (ECA-Watch) protested outside the OECD, calling on this public institution to enter the 21st century and end its support for fossil fuels. A November 2014 report "The Fossil Fuel Bailout", by the Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International estimates that G20 countries are subsidising oil, gas and coal explorers to the tune of $US88 billion

http://www.eca-watch.org/publications/activists-demand-end-massive-oecd-support-...


ECAs and human rights to be discussed at UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

(ECA Watch, Brussels, 26 November 2014) A December 3 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva will include an event organized by ECA Watch, The Danish Export Credit Agency, Justiça nos Trilhos and GLOBAL CSR on Export Credit Agencies and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. An additional case, where an ECA is involved, the Hidrosogamoso dam in Columbia, will be discussed at another session which is co-organized by CounterCurrent. ECA Watch's new report on Export Credit and Human Rights will be released at the UN Forum, with case studies from India, Brazil, Colombia and Belarus.

http://www.gegenstroemung.org/web/en/2014/11/27/ecas-issue-at-the-un-forum-on-bu...


’Record year’ for bank coal financing as latest UN climate warning looms

(BankTrack, Nijmegen, 29 October 2014) Ninety-two leading banks last year provided at least EUR 66 billion in financing to the coal industry, according to new coal financing data released today in BankTrack's ‘Banking on coal 2014' report. [1] The global campaigning network believes this represents a highly regrettable ‘record year' for financial support extended to the top 65 coal companies in both the coal mining and power sectors. In the same vein, a November 2014 report from Oil Change International (p.14) notes that "at a June 2014 ministerial meeting in Brussels, the G7 countries (a subset of the G20) reaffirmed their commitment to national fossil fuel subsidy elimination, as well as continued discussions on the need to reduce the climate impacts of export credit financing (European Commission, 2014)". But governments across the G20 countries are estimated to be spending US$88 billion every year subsidising exploration for fossil fuels and a significant percentage of these subsidies came from ECAs.

http://www.banktrack.org/show/news/_record_year_for_bank_coal_financing_as_lates...


France to stop export credits for coal projects in developing countries

(Reuters, Paris 27 November 2014) France will eliminate export credits for energy projects in developing countries which involve coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, President Francois Hollande said on Thursday. The European Union is phasing out subsidies for domestic coal plants by 2018 in line with its efforts to take a global lead in the fight against climate change. But an EU policy paper seen by Reuters in June said European makers of coal-fired power plants such as France's Alstom should get financial help to export the equipment, flying in the face of environmental opposition to any form of subsidy for coal. "Eventually, subsidies to all fossil fuels should be phased out," Hollande said at France's annual environmental conference. "We are eliminating all export credits in the support that we give to developing countries whenever coal is used." The paper prepared by officials from the European Commission trade department before the new administration was sworn in said export credits, or preferential loans to help cover exports costs, should be continued for the most modern coal plant technology.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/27/us-france-energy-coal-idUSKCN0JB17J201...


Japan coal power plant export push hits U.S. Resistance

(Freight News, Piraeus Greece, 24 October 2014) The United States has challenged the Japanese government over moves to ramp up exports of coal-fired power technology and to offer cheap loans to lure buyers, according to a U.S. source with direct knowledge of the matter... Japan’s shipments of the equipment soared to nearly $8 billion last year as it looks to boost infrastructure exports, defying U.S. calls for developed nations to stop investment in foreign coal projects to curb greenhouse gas emissions... While the issue is unlikely to blow up into a major dispute, it could taint the two allies’ typically close relationship on energy and comes ahead of a November gathering of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development where members are expected to discuss coal-fired power funding.

http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/japan-coal-power-plant-export-push-hits-u-s-...


US/China economic negotiations include new export credit guidelines

(The White House, Washington, 12 November 2014) President Obama and President Xi recognize the importance of economic relations at the core of the U.S.-China bilateral relationship. The two Presidents commit to deepen bilateral economic ties. To this end, the United States and China commit to pursue policies that promote more open and market-driven bilateral and international trade and investment. This includes pursuing a high-standard and comprehensive bilateral investment treaty that embodies the principles of non-discrimination, fairness, openness, and transparency. In 2012, the US and China launched multilateral negotiations around new international export credit guidelines in the 18 nation International Working Group on Export Credits (IWG), outside of the OECD ECA working group. Through 6 meetings the US believes the IWG has made significant progress and is now at a critical juncture as it works to develop guidelines that, taking into account varying national interests and situations, are consistent with international best practices.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/12/fact-sheet-us-china-econom...


NGOs question Italy’s SACE intent to support Mochovce nuclear plant

(RE:Common & ECA Watch Europe, Brussels/Rome, 27 November 2014) NGOs have written to Italy's Minister of Economic Development and SACE to express their deep concern about SACE's intention to issue a financial guarantee of up to 500 million Euros in favour of the controversial Enel-sponsored Mochovce 3 and 4 nuclear power plant project in Slovakia. Last June the German government decided to stop future support through Euler Hermes guarantees for nuclear power plants, in line with the decision in 2011, soon after Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster, to phase out nuclear power production in Germany by 2021.

http://www.recommon.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/letter-ReCommon-+-ECA-watch-o...


Financing banks and ECAs announced for SOCAR STAR refinery in Turkey

(Cistran Finance, Chicago, 11 June 2014) A list of 23 banks and ECAs that will be financing the construction of SOCAR’s STAR oil refinery in the Aliaga port in Turkey was announced in an official ceremony last week. The list includes the following ECAs: Export Development Canada, JBIC, NEXI, and SACE. Two coal fired power plants are planned in conjunction with the refinery. The Bankwatch Network notes that the SOCAR Refinery project and its ‘secret’ coal power plant suggests a polluted future for Turkey and the magnitude of the problems that the mixture of business interests, coal and neglect of local health concerns may cause.

http://cistranfinance.com/news/financing-banks-announced-for-socar-star-refinery...


Korean ECA defrauded by ’cool’ client

(AnandTech, Seoul, 6 November 2014) Zalman, a pioneer of low-noise cooling solutions, filed for bankruptcy in Seoul on 3 November 2014. Zalman was acquired in 2011 by robotics manufacturer Moneual, which received about 620 million dollars in loans from several Korean banks and another 275 million dollars as export credit from the Korea Trade Insurance Corp. Moneual failed to repay their (massive) export bonds that matured on October 20, 2014, and ultimately filed for bankruptcy, despite repeatedly reporting major profits, with their 2013 annual report being nearly 1.2 billion dollars in sales and over 100 million dollars in profit. They apparently forged Zalman's export and accounting documents, greatly overstating their export and income reports, in order to become eligible for huge bank loans.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/8697/corporate-fraud-drives-zalman-to-bankruptcy


Britain’s export credit agency targets small business as banks retreat

(The Telegraph, London, 25 October 2014) As more British companies begin to look overseas to tap new markets, the pressure is on George Osborne, the Chancellor, who has set a target to double the value of exports to £1 trillion by 2020, to provide greater financial support to businesses selling abroad... Traditionally, British companies were able to draw upon the financial clout of the City and the nation’s banks to help underwrite overseas projects and exports with letters of credit. But since the financial crisis most lenders have retrenched and become increasingly risk averse. That has breathed new life back into Britain’s recently re-named trade credit guarantee agency, UK Export Finance.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/11186611/Britains-export-cre...


UK export credit agency to guarantee sukuk bond for first time

(Reuters, London, 28 October 2014) - Britain's export credit agency will guarantee a sukuk bond for the first time next year, the finance ministry said on Tuesday, as it seeks to boost London's position as a centre for Islamic finance... UK Export Finance (UKEF) expects to guarantee an Islamic bond next year issued by a customer of European plane maker Airbus, the finance ministry said... Issuers of Islamic bonds say they operate in compliance with sharia, or Islamic law. A ban on charging interest and investing in prohibited industries such as alcohol, pornography and gambling, are among features that distinguish it from conventional finance.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/28/britain-sukuk-idUSL4N0SN5O120141028


Republicans rekindle fight over U.S. export lender

(Reuters, Washington, 7 November 2014) Republican critics of the U.S. Export-Import Bank moved on Friday to force the export lender to reveal full details of board discussions about potential deals, restarting a battle over the bank's long-term future. The move is the first salvo from Ex-Im opponents since Congress adjourned for an election recess in September. Just before the break, lawmakers approved a nine-month extension for the export credit agency, a compromise that pleased neither supporters wanting certainty nor opponents wanting to shut the bank down.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/07/us-usa-congress-eximbank-idUSKBN0IR23G...


Russia to extend US$270m export credit to Armenia for extending nuclear power operation

(Armenian News, Yerevan, 19 November 2014) Armenia has approved a proposal for the extension of an Armenian-Russian intergovernmental agreement on cooperation extending the operation of the 2nd power unit of the Armenian nuclear-power plant (NPP). Armenia’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Yervan Zakharyan noted that, under the agreement, Russia is to extend a $270m export credit to Armenia.

http://www.tert.am/en/news/2014/11/19/armenia-atomakayan/


Coface and US Ex-Im compete for satellite industry subsidies

(SpaceNews, Paris, 12 November 2014) The French government will reform its Coface export-credit agency to enable it to offer financial backing to satellite projects at the same rates as its American counterpart... Coface used to dominate export credits for satellite projects. But in the past five years the U.S. Export-Import Bank, aided by the arrival of a commercially competitive launch services provider, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has surpassed Coface in total financing commitments.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/42526ariane-6-coface-financing-domi...


Activists demand end of massive OECD support for fossil fuels

18 November 2014

This week in Paris, a secretive body within the OECD will discuss the potential revision of the “gentlemen’s agreement” (1) under which they provide billions of dollars of public financing into the fossil fuel sector through their member export credit agencies.

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