Ex-Im Bank Carbon Policy Encourages Renewables

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) on Nov. 4 became the first Export Credit Agency (ECA) to adopt a comprehensive Carbon Policy to guide its support of United States exports in light of climate change concerns.

"We want to help American manufacturers produce green technology for the world. This common sense approach is good for the environment. It's good for business, and it's good for American workers," said Fred P. Hochberg, chair and president of Ex-Im Bank. The Carbon Policy is in keeping with the Obama Administration's commitment to help create new jobs through promotion of "green" technology.

"We look forward to working with the Export-Import Bank on implementation of their Carbon Policy," said Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "The Board's approval of their Carbon Policy is an important step toward greater transparency and enhanced environmental stewardship."

Included in the policy is a commitment to explore ways to further improve the Bank's transparency in the tracking and reporting of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from projects that it supports.

As a part of this policy, the Bank has established a $250 million facility to finance renewable energy exports, including solar, wind and geothermal energy.

The policy also commits the Bank to be a leader in financing of climate-friendly technologies made by American workers, including those that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency.

Ex-Im Bank also committed to advocate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the creation of financing incentives for low to zero CO2-emitting projects, a common methodology for evaluating and taking into account the social cost of carbon, and disincentives for high intensity fossil fuel projects. The Bank initiated its efforts involving the OECD within hours of the Carbon Policy's approval. "Adoption of the Bank's new Carbon Policy is an important first step. As we move forward in the coming weeks we are committed to an open process to help us implement this policy by continuing to actively engage American exporters, workers and environmental advocates," Hochberg said.

In Fiscal Year 2009, which ended Sept. 30, the Bank authorized more than $21 billion in support of U.S. exports and associated jobs, the highest financing level since the Bank was established in 1934. The Bank also set a record for financing of U.S. small business exports at $4.36 billion.

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