CSOs say newly launched export finance coalition (E3F) fails to lead

(Oil Change International, Washington, 15 April 2011) In response to the launch of a new Export Finance for the Future coalition (E3F), 21 civil society organizations (CSOs) from 14 countries released a statement criticizing the lack of ambition from the coalition. The seven European countries, which according to French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire represent around 40% of export financing in the OECD, pledged to end formal trade and export financing directed at thermal coal mines and coal supply chain infrastructure. While welcoming the initiative as a step in the right direction, the CSOs, including Oil Change International, state that the coalition fails to take the urgent action that is required to meet climate goals: “Rather than adding new commitments, the E3F principles are simply a reiteration of what most signatories are already doing: not supporting the coal sector, increasing support for ‘green products’, and being more transparent about their support for oil and gas. For this coalition to make a real difference, it needs to take decisive action to end all export finance for fossil fuels, following at least the level of ambition shown by the UK, which put an end to virtually all new export finance for fossil fuels last month.” Seven European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) formally pledged to end their support for agencies that finance export projects Fossil fuels. CSOs note that a few countries are embarrassingly absent from the coalition, including the US and Canada. In January, the White House published an Executive Order stating that it would “promote ending international financing of carbon-intensive fossil fuel-based energy,” including finance provided by US EXIM. And while Canada’s export finance institution, Export Development Canada (EDC), was among the first ECAs to adopt a climate change policy, it remains a top provider of export support for fossil fuels.