Open letter: Sweden should join call for fossil fuel phase out at COP26
Ahead of the COP26 summit, the Swedish government has shown climate leadership by announcing it will double its climate development aid by 2025. Next, Sweden should back a high-level initiative urging governments to phase out public finance support to fossil fuels overseas – an opportunity for Sweden to step up climate action in the area of export finance, Swedwatch and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation state in an open letter.
On October 1st, United Kingdom (UK) Climate Envoy John Murton and the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Werner Hoyer openly invited governments and public-finance leaders to join a statement for a phase-out of overseas public financed fossil fuel projects. The statement is to be launched at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November.
The initiative builds on a policy adopted by the UK in March 2021, which puts an end to direct government support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, including through export credits. Sweden has adopted progressive climate policies on export credits limiting export finance support to most – but not all* – fossil fuel projects.
Ahead of COP26, Sweden has announced that it will double its climate finance budget by 2025, essentially making Sweden one of the highest contributors to climate finance on a per capita basis. Now, Sweden has the opportunity to show further leadership by expressing support for the UK statement, the open letter states (in Swedish).
Even though Swedish international public finance and export credits have little exposure to fossil fuel projects, Swedwatch argues that increasingly progressive climate action is needed to reach an international consensus for a wider phase out of fossil fuels support, including export finance.
*Under current policies, projects in the oil and gas value chain, including power plants, refineries, and pipelines as well as transport and storage of fossil fuels, can still be supported. Read more in a policy paper from Swedwatch.