OECD ECAs urged to scale up climate ambitions

(Global Trade Review, London, 24 May 2023) The export credit agencies (ECAs) of OECD countries should take more ambitious action to protect the climate after pouring 77% of their spending into fossil fuel projects between 2018 and 2020, a campaign group has argued. OECD members pumped an annual average of US$41bn into fossil fuel exports during the three-year period, totalling almost five times the amount of financing provided for clean energy, according to NGO Oil Change International. The report uses energy finance data for OECD members with ECAs which held assets above US$1bn between 2018 and 2020. “This directly contradicts internationally agreed climate goals, including the Paris Agreement objective to align financial flows with the low-carbon energy transition,” says the organisation, which campaigns for an end to public financing for polluting energy sources. ECAs have come under increased scrutiny for their role in fossil fuel finance in recent months, and campaign groups called for strict curbs on such financing as part of the  modernisation of the OECD framework on export credits, announced earlier this year. OECD Arrangement participants are meeting in Paris this week to begin drafting the text of the updated framework. It will likely result in an expansion of the types of projects classed as climate-friendly to include clean hydrogen and ammonia, low emissions manufacturing, zero and low emissions transport, and clean energy minerals and ores. The OECD Arrangement’s announcement of the modernisation package did not include any measures on limiting oil and gas support.