Export credit agencies are little-known government-backed financial institutions that provide loans, guarantees, and insurance with the aim of supporting exports of goods or services from their country to outside markets. This report from Oil Change International and Friends of the Earth U.S. shows that since the Paris Agreement was made, G20 countries have used their export credit agencies to provide nearly 12 times more finance to fossil fuels than to clean energy.
Adding up lending and underwriting from 33 global banks to the fossil fuel industry as a whole reveals stark findings: Canadian, Chinese, European, Japanese, and U.S. banks have financed fossil fuels with $1.9 trillion since the Paris Agreement was adopted (2016 to 2018), with financing on the rise each year. Fossil fuel financing is dominated by the big U.S. banks, with JPMorgan Chase as the world’s top funder of fossil fuels by a wide margin.
In 2013, the U.S. federal and state governments gave away $21.6 billion in subsidies for oil, gas, and coal exploration and production.
For decades, wealthy countries have been using international aid and other foreign assistance—through grants, loans, equity and loan guarantees—to subsidize the expansion of the international fossil fuel industry. Many of these institutions provide export insurance as well.
The Shift the Subsidies database is an interactive tool to visually track and analyze the flow of financial support from international, regional and bilateral public financial institutions around the world to the energy sector.
Administered by the Department of Energy (DOE), the loan guarantee program encourages private investment in nuclear energy by lowering the cost of borrowing and possibly increasing the availability of credit for project sponsors—usually an individual utility, a consortium of utilities, or a merchant power producer. In exchange for providing a loan guarantee, DOE is authorized to charge sponsors a fee that is meant to recover the guarantee's estimated budgetary cost.