Saudi Arabia blasts Korean Ex-Im bank for “playing” with UN climate fund

(Climate Change News, London, 14 October 2016) The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Exim) has drawn sharp criticism from Saudi Arabia for withdrawing its application to be a conduit for climate funding, days after protests attacked its history of financing coal. The board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was set to decide on Friday whether to accredit the bank. This would have allowed it to oversee projects that will help poor countries cope with the transition demanded by a changing climate. The Saudi Arabian representative noted: "We have spent time and effort at the last board meeting discussing this case and now for no obvious reason I can see the applicant has withdrawn” The accreditation of export credit agencies, such as Korea Exim, has proven to be a controversial issue both inside and outside the GCF. Several board members, particularly Sweden’s Anders Wallberg, have expressed concern that the parochial motivations of these agencies, which primarily exist to help domestic businesses win overseas contracts, were incompatible with the fund’s supranational vision. Lidy Nacpil, the regional coordinator of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), said: “[The bank’s] withdrawal of its GCF application is an important victory for many networks and movements worldwide. But our work is far from over. We want to stop all financing of fossil fuels.”