FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 13, 2002
Linda Formella (202) 565-3200
Speaking today at the Globe 2002 Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Vanessa Weaver, a member of the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), reaffirmed the Ex-Im Bank position calling for export credit agencies (ECAs) to harmonize their environmental guidelines to be applied to projects under consideration for financing.
Ex-Im Bank considers four elements to be essential to any agreement on common environmental guidelines: 1) a requirement that projects adhere to internationally accepted minimal environmental standards; 2) a provision for transparency that would require ECAs to release environmental impact assessments before they reach a decision to support a project; 3) obligatory environmental impact assessments on all sensitive projects; and 4) careful reporting after a deal has been approved to guard against misclassifying sensitive projects.
Given the scale of global ECA financing, proper standards could significantly cut emissions and effluents produced by export-supported projects. We hope that our resolve on this issue will galvanize the ECAs of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to begin a more constructive dialogue that will lead to strong, common environmental standards, Weaver said.
Weaver urged Ex-Im Bank and other ECAs to continue sharing environmental information and conducting multilateral negotiations to establish a consensus on measures to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of sensitive projects.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that helps to finance the exports of U.S. goods and services, primarily to developing markets, through export credit insurance, loan guarantees and direct loans. In FY 2001, Ex-Im Bank supported $12.5 billion of U.S. exports, including more than $460 million of environmentally beneficial goods and services.