Export credit agencies and states could be at risk of climate litigation over fossil fuel financing


Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on Unsplash

Export credit agencies (ECAs) and the governments that oversee them could be in violation of their international legal obligations if they do not take action to reduce their financing of fossil fuel-related activities. A new legal opinion, commissioned by Oil Change International outlines the international law obligations of ECAs when financing fossil fuels.

Kate Cook authored the opinion with Professor Jorge E Viñuales from the University of Cambridge, and stated in the report:

“if the extremely dangerous consequences of climate change are to be averted or, more modestly, their likelihood reduced, there is no room for additional fossil fuel capacity and existing capacity or its emissions must be reduced urgently and proactively.” 

The legal opinion considers the international law framework that applies to ECAs which act on behalf of States or are regulated by them when operating as separate entities, drawing primarily on customary international law, as well as on human rights, climate change agreements and OECD instruments.

Useful links:

The Legal Opinion