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Swedwatch and a consortium of civil society organisations have called on European states to make a genuine commitment to tackling the climate crisis by immediately ending all financial support to exports benefiting fossil fuel industries.

In a statement last week, Swedwatch and partner organisations around the world expressed disappointment with a new initiative from a coalition of seven European states (Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) aimed at increasing support for sustainable and climate-friendly projects and only imposing some restrictions on export financing of fossil fuels overseas.

The initiative – the Export Finance for Future Coalition – aims to rally support for climate-friendly projects, which is commendable, but the lack of ambition and vague nature of the commitments offers little hope for meaningful change.

The Export Finance for Future coalition commits to ending “trade and export support directed to unabated coal power” which is not enough, given that this policy has already been adopted in several countries and is partly covered by the OECD.

“The weak language and lack of timelines is disappointing. Members of the coalition must continue to develop their policies and put a halt to all export support to carbon intensive projects, including power generation through oil and gas, in addition to supporting sustainable projects,” said Davide Maneschi, Project Manager Climate at Swedwatch.

It is a clear contradiction that richer countries are adopting these efforts while continuing to provide financial support through export finance to projects that increase emissions elsewhere.

“The United Kingdom has already adopted a policy to no longer provide new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, other than in limited circumstances. There is no reason why Sweden and other countries should not introduce a similar policy,” added Maneschi.

“Sweden and the European union need to take immediate action like the UK and totally stop support for the fossil fuel energy sector now.”

 

  • Industry: Energy
  • Publication: Article
  • Themes: Environment and climate

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