News / 22 november 2021

E3F, 'Export finance for Future' is a great opportunity for the Netherlands

Export support – and especially that to fossil projects – has been in the spotlights quite often recently. This is a positive development, because the Netherlands alone provides fossil export support worth 1.5 billion euros per year. At the climate summit in Glasgow, the United Kingdom launched a statement promising to stop providing export support to fossil projects by the end of 2022. After having denied at first, the Netherlands decided to join the statement after all – ​​which now has already been signed by nearly forty countries and financial institutions.

Time for implementation

Now that the statement has been signed, the hard work will only begin: the implementation. This requires a good plan which must be executed very soon. On the 24th of November, the Netherlands will host the second meeting of the 'Export Finance for Future' (E3F) initiative that was launched in April this year. This leading group of seven countries, all of which have signed the Glasgow Declaration, want to bring their export credit insurance in line with the 1.5C target of the Paris climate agreement. Among other things they want to do this by phasing out export support for fossils, significantly increase export support for sustainable projects and inspire other countries to do the same. The perfect time to start making plans!

The more ambitious, the better

Under the leadership of the Netherlands, the E3F countries can jointly ensure that efforts will be as ambitious as possible and that the export support for fossils from the 39 signatories actually stops. The more ambitious, the better for the climate and the better for the people in developing countries where export support often goes. Fossil projects not only emit a lot of CO2, they hinder the development of solar and wind projects. In addition, developing countries will not earn much from new oil and gas infrastructure that will have to exist for another 30 years to recoup the investment. By that time, we will have to have abandoned fossil fuels for a long time already. Stopping fossil fuel projects and investing in solar and wind is also positive for jobs in the Netherlands and beyond. More jobs will be created and exactly these are the jobs of the future.

Kickstart by the Netherlands

New research by the Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International shows that E3F countries alone provided €19 billion in export support to fossil projects between 2018 and 2020, far more than their export support to renewable projects over the same period. Living up to the the Glasgow agreement to end this type of support before the end of 2022 therefore requires a huge shift, and the Netherlands can give a good kickstart at the E3F meeting. So, Dutch ministers and policy makers: go for it on the 24th and show other countries that you are brave enough to take the necessary steps for a sustainable future and a fair energy transition.


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