Jubilee Australia

Efic spent almost AU$170 million to finance fossil fuel projects abroad

Release Date: 17-Oct-2017


 Australia’s export credit agency spent almost AU$170 million to finance fossil fuel projects abroad

New report shows Australia is one of the world’s largest export credit supporters of fossil fuel projects abroad

Sydney, Australia – Australia’s Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), was one of the largest supporters of fossil fuels among all G20 countries, according to a new report from Jubilee Australia, Friends of the Earth Australia, and Friends of the Earth U.S. EFIC provided almost A$170 million (U.S. $130 million) annually to fossil fuel projects around the world between 2013 and 2015 with about 70 percent going to oil and gas projects.

“EFIC is working to make sure that the rest of the world is addicted to fossil fuels for decades to come, putting the health of Australians at risk,” said Luke Fletcher of Jubilee Australia. “With a country that has as much sun as Australia, it should be exporting solar technologies, rather than outdated fossil fuels.”

The report, entitled Financing Climate Disaster: How Export Credit Agencies Are a Boon for Oil and Gas, calls on EFIC and other export credit agencies (ECAs) to phase out all financial support for fossil fuels by 2020 at the latest, in order to help prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

Among the most significant sources of public support for fossil fuel investments, ECAs provide government-backed guarantees, insurance, credits, and loans to support the export of goods and services abroad. In total, G20 ECAs provided over A$48 billion (U.S. $37.9 billion) annually for fossil fuels projects. The vast majority – A$41 billion (U.S. $32 billion) – went toward oil and gas. Nearly 23 percent of the oil and gas financing went toward exploration of new oil and gas resources. In contrast, ECAs only invested seven percent of their energy funding into clean energy projects, 11 times less support than for oil and gas projects.

Large investments by ECAs in oil and gas projects increase the world’s emissions of methane, which is 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. Methane emissions are a major problem for the oil and gas sector; some estimates put methane leakage from oil and gas production at 17 percent. Due to these methane emissions, gas can be as bad for the climate as coal.