April 22, 2021

Collin Rees,
Bronwen Tucker,

Oil Change International response to Biden Administration announcements on international finance

As part of its International Climate Finance Plan announced during today’s Leaders Summit on Climate, the Biden Administration committed to “end international investments in and support for carbon-intensive fossil fuel-based energy projects” at multilateral and bilateral finance agencies such as the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and U.S. Export-Import Bank. 

While welcome, the announcement fell short of other recent commitments by other institutions and countries. In response to the announcement, Collin Rees, Senior Campaigner at Oil Change International made the following statement: 

“Today’s announcement by President Biden on international finance for fossil fuels is a welcome step, but the lack of firm commitments falls short of what’s needed. This is a missed opportunity to end a harmful U.S. climate legacy abroad and add to the growing momentum of other institutions ruling out all public finance for fossil fuels. 

“We urge the Biden administration to add a clear commitment to an immediate phase-out, with no loopholes for gas or any other continued fossil support.”


Notes to Editors

In March, nearly 450 organizations from over 50 countries signed onto a letter calling on the Biden administration to immediately end all U.S. public financing for fossil fuels, including gas and LNG, oil, and coal.

According to Oil Change International’s Shift the Subsidies database, U.S. public finance for overseas fossil fuel projects totaled more than USD 44 billion over the past decade, at times exceeding USD 10 billion in a single year. This finance was distributed primarily through the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, formerly known as the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

In January 2021, European Union ministers adopted new priorities on climate and energy diplomacy to “discourage all further investments into fossil fuel based energy infrastructure projects in third countries.” This followed a December 2020 announcement by the United Kingdom of a whole-of-government approach to end overseas public finance for fossil fuels, and a November 2019 announcement by the European Investment Bank ending financing for fossil fuels.