News / 4 april 2024

EU ECA fossil fuel phase-out tracker reveals EU Member States’ lagging commitment to Paris Agreement goals in export credit policies

Our new report titled EU ECA fossil fuel phase-out tracker by Both ENDS, Counter Balance and Oil Change International sheds light on the concerning lack of harmony between EU Member States' export credit climate policies. 

The report was updated on April 17th, following new responses by Member States on their respective policies.

Despite increasing global efforts towards sustainability, export credit agencies (ECAs) play a key role in providing loans, guarantees and insurance backed by public budgets to companies from their countries, including polluting industries. At present, ECAs continue to be the world’s largest international public financiers of fossil fuels, sorely misaligned with climate goals. 

In March 2022, during the French Presidency of the Council of the EU, Member States made a crucial commitment to end public finance through ECAs for fossil fuel energy projects by the end of 2023. Recent findings reveal that half of the 23 EU member states with ECAs are fulfilling their commitments, while the others lag behind.

Concerns and warnings

Our findings show that only eight EU Member States, such as Denmark, France and the Netherlands, have fully implemented policies to phase out public support for fossil fuel projects. Conversely, five countries, including Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal, have no formal policy but claim not to finance such projects. However, a worrying trend is emerging, with 10 Member States failing to honour their commitments. Some, such as Croatia, the Czech Republic and Greece, have yet to establish a policy to phase out export credit support for fossil fuels. Others, such as Austria and Italy, have published policies that are not in line with climate science and the mandatory 1.5°C pathway.

In fact, in 2023 alone, Italy greenlit financing totaling nearly €1,7 billion for five fossil fuel projects. Its fossil finance policy, unveiled at the beginning of the year, contains the most significant exemptions for fossil fuels compared to other signatories to the global Clean Energy Transition Partnership and Export Finance for the Future (E3F).

Marius Troost (Both ENDS) says: “To stay within the 1.5°C limit, we must halt funding for fossil fuel projects. Despite EU member states' agreement in 2022 to cease public support for oil and gas projects via export credits, not all have followed through. It's time for non-compliant countries to match commitments with action by implementing climate policies grounded in science. This issue will be addressed at an event on April 25th, where we hope to see laggards elevate their ambition”. 

Call to action

The report calls for swift and decisive action to align export credit policies with the imperatives of climate justice and sustainable development, for the member states who have not yet implemented the 2022 Council conclusions.

>  Download report

The report was updated on April 17th, following new responses by Member States on their respective policies.


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