Release the Guidance: Backgrounder on U.S. International Energy Finance ahead of COP27 Deadline to Stop Funding Fossils

Cover image to Oct 2022 briefing on export credit finance to fossil fuel projects

From 2010 to 2021, the United States’ major trade and development finance institutions, the U.S. Export Import Bank (EXIM) and U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), provided almost five
times as much support to fossil fuels as to renewables – USD 51.6 billion compared to USD 10.9 billion.

Since taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration have made a series of commitments, executive orders, and guidances towards ending this international public finance for fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the administration’s actions have yet not matched their promises on ending these influential financial flows that prolong the fossil fuel era. Most critically, Biden’s interim guidance detailing how these promises will be implemented has not been made publicly available since it was put in place in December 2021, and it appears to leave substantial loopholes open for continued support for gas and oil.

This briefing reviews what is known about the current U.S. policy guidance, unpacks trends in recent energy finance from EXIM and DFC, identifies specific fossil fuel projects and loopholes that appear
to be under consideration, and makes recommendations for how the U.S. can still implement their commitments with integrity and on time.

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