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Export credit agencies

Fern works towards EU trade and investment policies that do not subsidise climate change and ensure strict financing rules are in place for institutions such as Export Credit Agencies. 

Fern’s analysis: Despite the EU’s claim that it is a leader in halting climate change, its trade and investment policies are in fact worsening the situation. Among the most damaging institutions supported by EU policies are Export credit agencies (ECAs) and the European Investment Bank who continue to finance destructive activities and the fossil fuel industry to the tune of millions. Nearly 10 per cent of world exports are supported by ECAs, approximately twice the world’s total overseas development assistance.

What Fern is doing: Fern is analysing EU finance and investment's impacts on forests and the climate in order to show its incoherence with the EU's climate policy to keep global warming below two degrees celcius and make it accountable to its own climate policies. Fern is also facilitating the European ECA Reform Campaign, bringing together a coalition of organisations from across Europe with the goal of achieving environmental and social standards for EU-based ECAs.

To learn more about this campaign: see, the report Exporting Destruction. Export credits, illegal logging and deforestation and the book Why Investment Matters.

Most recent publications

European Parliament demands that Export Credit Agencies open up

This press release by ECA-Watch outlines the importance of the European Parliament’s adoption of a proposal to regulate Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). This move will make ECAs more transparent on where their funds come from and go to, as well as how they charge for social and environmental risks. Furthermore, the Parliament requires ECAs to comply with EU human rights objectives in their activities, and to phase out the subsidising of fossil fuel projects in line with commitments adopted by the G20 in 2009.

Export Credit Agencies and Climate Change: a briefing for Cancun

After the collapse of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks in Copenhagen in December 2009, the future financial architecture for funding climate change mitigation and adaptation continues to be fiercely debated. At the 2010 climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, the issue will again be on the table for negotiation.

Hope that G-20 will close loophole and end all fossil fuel subsidies

Released the day before the November 2010 G-20 summit in Seoul, this press release by ECA-Watch outlines why G-20 leaders should ensure ECAs are included in efforts to end fossil fuel subsidies.

PDF iconECA Watch G20 press release.pdf104.08 KB

Fool's gold: How the planet pays the price for Europe's export credits

Member States' Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) are undermining EU climate objectives by providing billions of euros worth of support for highly carbon-intensive projects and "techno-fixes" masquerading as environmental solutions. This new report highlights the most controversial recent agreements signed by ECAs, provides estimated figures of European Union export credit guarantees and shows how ECA financing favours export and investments that disproportionately benefit energy and carbon-intensive industries.

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European ECA support to carbon intensive industries, a research paper by Profundo

This research conducted for FERN analyses the involvement of all 21 ECAs of EU member countries in the financing of carbon-intensive industries during the period 2004-2009.

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The Changing Landscape of Export Credit Agencies in the Context of the Global Financial Crisis

With the onset of the global financial crisis and the subsequent squeeze in credit and insurance markets, there is a renewed global demand for export credit and investment insurance products offered by ECAs.