Briefing: Why the U.S. Export-Import Bank Must End Financing for Fossil Fuels

Why the U.S. Export-Import Bank Must End Financing for Fossil Fuels
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Oil Change International, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth U.S., Greenpeace USA, 350.org

June 2019

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The U.S. Export-Import Bank (ExIm) provides government-backed loans, credits, insurance, and guarantees to support the export of goods and services. ExIm support sends a signal to other investors and leverages additional private financial support, often driving investment in fossil fuel production that would not otherwise occur.

This briefing review’s ExIm’s energy finance over the past decade, and makes clear that the vast majority of all finance for energy projects – nearly 90% – has flowed to fossil fuel projects in oil, gas, and coal. ExIm provided more than $10 billion in fossil fuel finance in 2012 alone, and is poised to return to these levels unless restrictions are put in place.

As momentum grows for climate solutions in the U.S. and abroad, there is an urgent need for a ban on fossil fuel financing at the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

The briefing includes the following findings:

  • From 2009 to 2014 – when ExIm had a board quorum and was operating at full capacity – fossil fuel finance averaged $5.5 billion per year.

  • ExIm financed well over $10 billion for oil, gas, and coal in fiscal year 2012 alone.

  • Over the past decade, nearly 90% of ExIm’s total finance for energy projects has flowed to fossil fuel projects in oil, gas, and coal. Finance for clean energy projects such as wind and solar has comprised less than 5% of ExIm’s authorizations since 2009.

  • Since 2009, ExIm’s average financing of oil, gas, and coal projects each year was nearly 20 times more than its average financing of clean energy projects.

Click here to download the full briefing.

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