ECAs explained

ECAs /Export Credit Agencies – the newer, bigger, badder banks.

Linked on our blogs with International NGO Campaign on Export Credit Agencies – ECA Watch.

What they are, how they impact development, the environment and human rights, and what the international reform campaign is doing about it.

… Export Credit Agencies and Investment Insurance Agencies, commonly known as ECAs, are public agencies that provide government-backed loans, guarantees, credits and insurance to private corporations from their home country to do business abroad, particularly in the financially and politically risky developing world. Most industrialized nations have at least one ECA, which is usually an official or quasi-official branch of their government.  

Today, ECAs are collectively among the largest sources of public financial support for foreign corporate involvement in industrial projects in the developing world. For example, ECAs are estimated to support twice the amount of oil, gas and mining projects as do all Multilateral Development Banks such as the World Bank Group. Half of all new greenhouse gas-emitting industrial projects in developing countries have some form of ECA support. ECAs often back such projects even though the World Bank Group and other multilateral banks find them too risky and potentially harmful to support.

Read the ECA Watch directory of the major ECAs.

What are the Impacts of these ECAs?

In recent years ECAs are estimated to have supported between US $50 – $70 billion annually in what are called “medium and long-term transactions,” a great portion of which are large industrial and infrastructure projects in developing countries. Many of these projects have very serious environmental and social impacts. For example, ECAs finance greenhouse gas-emitting power plants, large scale dams, mining projects, road development in pristine tropical forests, oil pipelines, chemical and industrial facilities, forestry and plantation schemes, to name a few … //

… What you can do:

You can join the international campaign to reform export credit agencies! Bookmark this website and come back for late-breaking news, action alerts and contact fellow campaigners near you. (full text).

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