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Sustainable development | Brussels, 18 November 2015

The EU and other OECD partners agree on trade measures supporting cleaner energy

The European Commission welcomes the agreement reached late yesterday by members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) - including the EU - to substantially limit the export-related support for coal-fired power plants and to encourage the use of the most advanced technology in energy production. The outcome of two years of intense discussions represents a first important step forwards in aligning export credits policies with the global push for cleaner energy generation.

EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström said: “This agreement demonstrates that our trade policy can make a significant contribution towards the production of cleaner energy and fighting climate change. The EU played an instrumental role in the process that led to this agreement and I now hope that other countries, that are not yet involved, will follow this lead in the wake of the COP21 meeting in Paris."

According to the new OECD rules, the export credit agencies of the involved OECD countries will only be able to support export of coal-fired plants when it is clear that no less polluting power generation technology is available. If this would be the case, only the most efficient coal plant technologies would be supported.

The process of aligning export credits policies with our climate change objectives will continue in the coming years. The agreement is shaped in a way to allow for future adaptations taking account of the latest developments in climate science, further advances in energy-generation technology, as well as changes to domestic policy frameworks in both exporting and importing countries.

The compromise reached by the OECD partners requires still a formal endorsement from the EU Member States. It is expected to be decided by EU Ministers in a Council meeting next week

For more information:
OECD work on export credits
EU trade policy and sustainable development