US Ex-Im Bank claims first ECA carbon policy

The US Export-Import Bank is claiming to be the first export credit agency (ECA) to adopt a comprehensive carbon policy after announcing on 3 November 2009 a new policy to guide its support of US exports in light of climate change concerns.

“We want to help American manufacturers produce green technology for the world. This common sense approach is good for the environment. It’s good for business, and it’s good for American workers,” said Fred P Hochberg, chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank.

Included in the policy is a commitment to explore ways to further improve the Bank’s transparency in the tracking and reporting of CO2 emissions from projects that it supports. As a part of this policy, the bank has established for the first time a US$ 250 million facility to finance renewable-energy exports, including solar, wind and geothermal energy.

The policy also commits the bank to be a leader in financing of climate-friendly technologies made by American workers, including those that reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and increase energy-efficiency.

Ex-Im Bank also committed to advocate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) the creation of financing incentives for low to zero CO2-emitting projects, a common methodology for evaluating and taking into account the social cost of carbon, and disincentives for high-intensity fossil-fuel projects. The bank initiated its efforts involving the OECD within hours of the carbon policy’s approval.

“Adoption of the Bank’s new carbon policy is an important first step. As we move forward in the coming weeks we are committed to an open process to help us implement this policy by continuing to actively engage American exporters, workers and environmental advocates,” Hochberg said.