OECD Arrangement participants fail to clinch modernisation deals

(Global Trade Review, London, 15 March 2023) A meeting of the OECD Arrangement on export credits ended last week without an announcement of a breakthrough on any key planks in its modernisation agenda. The arrangement was created to avoid like-minded countries from undercutting each other on pricing but has been undermined by the fact that major export credit providers such as China and India are not members. Commercial banks, export credit agencies (ECAs), the European Union and governments who host export credit-supported projects have called for changes to minimum pricing, tenors and clear rules on sustainable financing to ensure that OECD ECAs remain competitive and can support a broad range of projects. Oil Change International, an NGO that campaigns for an end to public finance for fossil fuels, says it is disappointed that there was no apparent agreement on the Climate Change Sector Understanding (CCSU) aspect of the arrangement in order to boost incentives for green projects. OCI further notes that "OECD countries failed to conclude negotiations on climate friendly incentives to align Export Credit Agencies, the world’s largest international financiers of fossil fuels, with international climate goals", adding "the world cannot afford another wasted minute" and reminding them that 175 civil society institutions have called on the arrangement members to end support for fossil fuel projects by their ECAs.