New report calls for end to export credits to coal

(Swedwatch, Stockholm, 25 September 2020) The coal industry is well-known for its serious climate implications and effects on local communities. Still, European export credits have contributed to expand the coal industry in countries already dependent on coal, including South Africa, a new Swedwatch report finds. In the last decade, ECAs from Germany, Sweden and France have provided significant export credits to South Africa’s coal sector. The country derives 90% of its electricity from coal and is currently constructing two new, large-scale coal-fired powerplants while establishing several new coal mines. Through their export support, the ECAs have contributed to the expansion of the country’s coal industry, which has a well-documented history of adverse environmental and human rights impacts. As European ECAs generally adhere to export guidelines from the OECD, which do not prohibit support for coal-related exports, the report urges France, Sweden and Germany – who have taken vital steps in this direction – to actively push for other OECD member countries to follow suit. The report makes it clear that there is an extensive lack of transparency in relation to export credits, guarantees, insurances and other means of export support.