During a virtual meeting on April 14th, under the chairmanship of Bruno Le Maire, French Minister for Economy, Finance and Recovery, governments of Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom solemnly launched the Export Finance for Future (E3F) coalition to harness public export finance as a key driver in the fight against climate change.
For the first time, a group of countries publicly demonstrate their willingness to both massively increase support for sustainable and climate-friendly projects and impose restrictions on fossil fuels overseas.
First movers taking coordinated action is essential to build momentum at a global level and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Leading by example, the E3F coalition aims at gathering quickly the largest number of new member countries so as to gain a critical mass, both to accelerate the progressive phasing out of carbon-intensive projects and significantly increase the financial support to exporters’ projects compatible with Paris Climate Agreement. The seven signing countries today call upon all other countries to join the coalition and align export financing with climate objectives.
The seven members of the E3F coalition adhered today to a set of principles (read full statement of principles below) and, in particular, commit to:
- Develop incentives to better support the development of exports to sustainable projects in all sectors of the economy;
- Ending trade and export support directed to unabated coal power;
- Reviewing our trade and export finance support to fossil fuels and assess how to best phase it out, taking into account industries’ respective characteristics;
- Starting a climate-oriented review of our respective trade and export finance activities, so as to have a shared and documented understanding of their climate impacts, and work on improving transparency on climate-related information, in particular when it comes to the identification of sustainable projects;
- Promoting the initiative and engage with other providers of official trade and export finance, in all relevant fora and in particular in the OECD, with a view to shape a level playing field that would duly take the climate emergency into account.
French Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery, Bruno Le Maire, declared:
“Finance must be a driving force in the fight against global warming. The “Export Finance for Future” Coalition is part of this strategy. Today, for the first time, several countries publicly committed to massively increase support for sustainable projects and to assess how to best phase out export finance support to oil and gas industries. The moment is decisive. I invite all countries sharing our convictions to join this alliance to ensure full alignment between our national emission reduction strategies and our trade and export support policies and thus make a significant contribution to the fight against climate change. Ecological transition is the major challenge of the twenty-first century, and we can only take it up together.”
Statement of principles
Find below the statement of principles signed on April 14th by: Peter Altmaier – Minister of Economy and Energy - Germany ; Anna Hallberg – Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs - Sweden ; Simon Kollerup– Minister of Economic and Business Affairs - Denmark ; Bruno Le Maire – Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery - France ; Reyes Maroto – Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism - Spain ; Rishi Sunak – Chancellor of the Exchequer - United Kingdom ; Hans Vijlbrief – State secretary for Finance - Netherlands.
In recognition of the latest scientific evidence regarding climate change, including the conclusions of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and namely that:
- Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history;
- Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems;
- Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems;
- Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which, together with adaptation, can limit climate change risks;
- Adaptation and mitigation are complementary strategies for reducing and managing the risks of climate change;
- Substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades can reduce climate risks in the 21st century and beyond, increase prospects for effective adaptation, reduce the costs and challenges of mitigation in the longer term and contribute to climate-resilient pathways for sustainable development;
- The transition to a climate-neutral economy can offer significant economic opportunities and social benefits, in particular when contemplating avoided climate damages;
Recognising the role of official trade and export finance in promoting and supporting a shift in investment patterns towards climate-neutral, climate resilient projects and investments,
We, the governments of Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United-Kingdom, as members of the E3F coalition, reaffirm our commitment to contributing to:
- Meeting the Paris Agreement goals and adapting our policies accordingly, in an effort to limit global average temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, and in particular,
- Supporting the ongoing transformation of our export economies,
- Supporting third countries’ economies in financing and implementing the transition to climate neutrality pathways, and,
- Promoting consistent international standards and pursuing ambitious multilateral action.
In support of these principles, we undertake to:
- Develop incentives to better support the development of exports to sustainable projects in all sectors of the economy, in order to:
- facilitate the investments in environmentally-friendly technologies and support the industries to innovate;
- decarbonise the energy sector;
- develop climate-resilient infrastructures;
- roll out cleaner forms of transport;
- support the urgent transition of carbon-intensive, heavy industries, in particular those still reliant on coal.
- End official trade and export finance directed to unabated coal power;
- End official trade and export finance for other thermal coal-related infrastructures, including mines as well as storage and transport infrastrures contributing in a significant manner to the thermal coal supply chain;
- Review our official trade and export finance support to fossil fuel industries and assess how to best phase out support to these sectors, taking into account their respective characteristics;
- Start a climate-oriented review of our respective official trade and export finance activities, so as to have a shared and documented understanding of their climate impacts, and work on improving transparency on climate-related information, in particular when it comes to the identification of sustainable projects;
- Promote our initiative and engage with other providers of official trade and export finance, in all relevant fora and in particular in the OECD, with a view to shape a level playing field that would duly take the climate emergency into account.