OECD oil and gas export credit fossil fuel ban postponed to next year

(Global Trade Review, London, 15 November 2023) A proposal to end export finance for oil and gas supported by the UK, EU and Canada will remain under discussion at next year’s OECD meetings after being tabled last week during negotiations in Paris. If agreed, the proposal would see a ban on export credits for new oil and gas projects, following the approach taken to prevent export credit agencies (ECAs) from financing unabated coal-fired power plants. The current proposal calls for a similar prohibition on oil and gas, a move that would bypass the transition stage seen in the approach to coal of an emission threshold coming before an overall ban. “The EU and UK position expands that coal-fired power prohibition to include all fossil fuels and all parts of the fossil fuel value chain, with some exceptions,” says Nina Pušić, OECD export finance climate strategist at Oil Change International (OCI), speaking to GTR from the negotiations. This could be a stumbling block in securing the agreement of the remaining eight countries in the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits: Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the US. According to OCI, Japan and Korea together provide on average more than US$16bn in oil and gas financing, based on 2018-2020 levels, while OECD ECAs provided an average of US$41bn per year in export support to fossil fuels between 2018 and 2020. The OECD is set to meet again in Q2 next year.