NGOs Win Court Battle Against Ex-Im Bank, OPIC on Project Financing

According to EnvironmentalLeader.com,

San Francisco’s federal court settled a lawsuit in which environmental groups and four U.S. cities accused the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the country’s official export-credit agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Corp., of financing energy projects overseas without considering impacts on global warming, Santa Monica Daily Press reports.

Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Boulder, Colorado. and the California cities of Arcata, Oakland and Santa Monica, filed the lawsuit in 2002, claiming that “the two agencies provided more than $32 billion in financing and loan guarantees for fossil fuel projects over 10 years without studying their impact on global warming or the environment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act,” FoxReno.com reports. The cities claimed they would feel the environmental impacts of overseas projects.

The two agencies have agreed to provide a combined $500 million in financing for renewable energy projects and take into account GHG emissions associated with projects each company supports.

Under the settlement, Ex-Im agreed to develop a greenhouse gas policy and start considering CO2 emissions when evaluating fossil fuel projects for investment.

OPIC agreed to reduce the GHG emissions associated with projects it supports by 20 percent over the next 10 years.

The Santa Monica Daily Press, also covering the court decision, clarified

The projects at the center of the lawsuit included a coal-fired power plant in China; a pipeline from Chad to Cameroon; and oil and natural gas projects in Russia, Mexico, Venezuela and Indonesia. Many of the projects are well under way or already completed and provided oil to the U.S.

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