Italy waters down fossil fuel pledge as Sace backs gas

(Global Trade review, London, 22 March 2023) Italy has walked away from a pledge to end support for international fossil fuel projects by the end of last year, indicating it will continue to provide export credit cover for parts of the oil industry in the short term and delaying a decision to put an end date on its backing for the gas sector. Sace, the Italian export credit agency (ECA), yesterday published its long-anticipated plan for complying with its commitment alongside other nations at the 2021 Cop26 summit to “end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector… except in limited and clearly defined circumstances that are consistent with a 1.5°C warming limit and the goals of the Paris Agreement”. Signatories were supposed to have nixed backing for the sector by the end of last year, but the Sace policy shows that the agency did not end support for all exports involving the oil or gas sectors by that deadline. The policy shows that Sace ended support for unabated gas-fired power generation in January this year, but gas exploration and production facilities will still qualify for support until 2026.