Press release - International NGO Call on Goverments to #EndCoalFinance


11 June 2014

International NGOs Call on Governments to #EndCoalFinance

On Monday, June 16 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s Export Credit Group will meet to discuss climate and energy related financing through Export Credit Agencies – public agencies that fund or guarantee private corporations from their home country to invest or export overseas.

International civil society organizations are targeting governments today, Wednesday, June 11, to call for an end to public finance for coal. A Twitterstorm will urge OECD governments to end financing and guarantees for coal through Export Credit Agencies.

Last week in Brussels, G7 nations confirmed their commitment “to the elimination of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and continued discussions in the OECD on how export credits can contribute to our common goal to address climate change.”

In the OECD Export Credit Group meeting, governments will be considering a proposal from the United States and the United Kingdom to open a process to adopt restrictions for financing high carbon intensity projects (primarily coal power plants).

This opportunity to end Export Credit Agency financing for coal is a key part of the larger effort to end public financing for fossil fuels and high carbon projects.(1)

Regine  Richter, from Urgewald in Germany says: "Guarantees worth billions from the country of energy transition? While climate experts warn that more coal plants mean the end of the 2° C target?! It's time to stop this contradiction and finish coal support through Hermes guarantees."

Lucie Pinson, Amis de la Terre France says: "After ending coal support through its development agency last year, France has to finish its job if they are serious about fighting climat change. France could not give the lead to the COP21 in Paris next year if Coface keeps supporting coal power plants overseas whose emissions account for 14% of domestic emissions!"

Between 2007 and 2013 public financial institutions provided at least $51 billion in funding for coal projects abroad.  The largest proportion of this comes from national Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) from OECD countries, which have provided at least $32 billion over this period or 63 percent of total public support. (2)

Over the past year, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have committed to ending support for coal projects except in limited circumstances. The US, the UK, the Netherlands and Nordic countries have made similar commitments to end public finance for coal projects overseas.

Given the improvements in multilateral practice, it is increasingly likely that OECD Export Credit Agencies could end up as a place of last resort for carbon intensive industries that are no longer able to secure funding due to their high risk and poor environmental performance. 

For more information on the Twitterstorm, go here:

1. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), to stay within a 2°C global temperature rise – a level climate scientists believe would allow us to avoid the worst impacts of climate change: at least two thirds of current proven fossil fuel reserves need to stay underground.

2. According to data compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Oil Change International. These staggering statistics probably under-estimate the total amount due to lack of reporting by many of these shadowy institutions.

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