Potential Export-Import Bank deals pose grave environmental threat, experts say

(Guardian, London, 7 December 016) Congress quashed the hopes late Tuesday of reviving the United States’ export credit agency, which had been aiming for a stopgap lifeline allowing them to approve more than $20bn in new deals, many of which pose imminent harms to the environment. Now, the fate of a pristine coral reef, an east African mangrove forest, and the livelihoods of farmers and fishermen in a south-east Asian river delta lie in the hands of a new Congress and president. Since 2009, when Barack Obama became president, the Export-Import Bank has signed almost $34bn worth of low-interest loans and guarantees to companies and foreign governments to build, expand and promote some 70 fossil fuel projects around the world, according to an investigation by the Guardian and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism’s Energy and Environmental Reporting Project.