ECA Watch protests inadequacies of OECD consultation with CSOs

A. NGOs protest against continuing destruction by OECD export credit agencies
  A. NGOs protest against continuing destruction by OECD export credit agencies
(ECA Watch, Paris, 18 November 2008) On 18 November 2008, a broad coalition of international non-governmental organisations protested outside the OECD in Paris to condemn the lack of progress by export credit agencies in implementing strict sustainability guidelines and conducting meaningful consultations with civil society (click here for press release). Export credit agencies (ECAs) provide private business with tens of billions of Euros in public subsidies and guarantees annually. Both the OECD and its member governments however, fail to tie these taxpayer subsidies to strict rules of sustainability and public scrutiny. By providing financing to the private sector, export credit agencies support their economies’ business activities in emerging markets and developing countries. Private banks are major beneficiaries of ECA guarantees – they take the profit while the public assumes the risk. ECA-Watch has revealed that many projects supported by export credit agencies cause great harm to people and the environment. These include large dam projects like Nam Theun 2 in Laos, oil and gas exploitation like Sakhalin II in the Russian Far East, the Chad-Cameroon and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipelines, nuclear projects and arms deals, as well as increasing numbers of coal fired power plants which take no consideration of climate impacts. A number of ECA backed contracts are known to have been acquired by corrupt practices.
  B. Photos and video of the 18 November demonstration at the OECD
  C. Correspondence with the Export Credit Working Group and OECD Secretary-General Gurria
  C. Correspondence with the Export Credit Working Group and OECD Secretary-General Gurria
(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 29 November 2008) Since the OECD ceased to publish correspondence with CSOs on its web site after 23 November 2007, this overview is necessary to provide taxpayers, the media and other interested parties with better information on environmental concerns with some $100 billion in export projects supported by OECD ECAs each year.
  D. Bilateral national consultations not working well
(The Corner House, Devon, 29 November 2008) Following suggestions from the OECD ECG that bilateral contacts with CSOs at the national level are the best fora for discussing both individual projects and ECA environmental processes, ECA Watch member the Corner House has written the UK's ECDG to note a lack of response after 8 months to their proposals for improving the monitoring of the implementation of the OECD's Common Approaches through peer review. "It goes without saying that such 'bilateral contacts' are only of value if ECAs respond to CSOs when they raise issues of concern. It is therefore particularly to be regreted that ECGD has not seen fit to reply to our letter of 5 March 2008. "