SWEDWATCH: The EU must urgently review its outdated policy on export credits

(Swedwatch, Stockholm, 27 April 2023) Despite promises to make financial flows consistent with a low-carbon economy, EU member states continue to provide financial support to the fossil fuel industry through export credits. It is time that the EU Commission replaces its outdated policy with new and ambitious regulation, prohibiting export support to oil and gas, Swedwatch argues in a new policy paper. “Export credit agencies are the world’s largest international public financiers of fossil fuels. In the EU, the lack of an ambitious regulatory framework allows for oil and gas projects to continue to be supported through state-backed export finance, undermining EU contributions to climate goals. This gap needs to be urgently addressed“, says Davide Maneschi, climate change program officer at Swedwatch. Export credit agencies (ECAs) have a critical role in the energy transition, as they de-risk large scale infrastructure and energy projects. However, in the period 2019-2021, some six years after the Paris Agreement was signed, G20 export credit agencies provided seven times more support for exports of fossil fuel projects than for clean energy. In an April 27 policy paper Swedwatch calls on the European Commission to promptly initiate a reform of  the regulatory framework on the activities of ECAs, ensuring that they are aligned with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C climate change mitigation goals and EU climate objectives.