Letter to EDC President Re: Export-Import Bank - May 31, 2002

May 31, 2002
Mr. Ian Gillespie
President and Chief Executive Officer
Export Development Canada
151 O’Connor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1K3

Dear Mr. Gillespie:

I am writing you today on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Export Development Canada to bring to your attention the recent policy developments at the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) of the United States with regard to supporting renewable energy projects and to ask EDC to adopt Ex-Im’s approach to this important sector.

In the past 20 years, Ex-Im has financed more than $2 billion of American non-nuclear renewable energy exports.  It has recently amended its charter to setting a 5% target for renewable energy.  Finally, on May 2, 2002 , Ex-Im announced that it has established a special advisory committee of U.S. exporters and representatives of related trade associations and a non-governmental organization (NGO) to assist it in expanding its support for U.S. exporters in renewable energy industries including the solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and biomass sectors.   

As a member of ECA-Watch, we call for all export credit agencies to adopt a 20% target for renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes in guarantees and to phase out non sustainable energies (such as fossil fuels) within 5 years.  Ex-Im’s recent policy developments towards renewable energy is a positive step towards this goal.

It is our hope that Export Development Canada (EDC) would see Ex-Im’s policies as a model for export credit agencies and that together with Ex-Im, EDC would be an international leader on supporting sustainable energy projects.  Increasing focus on this sector would be a positive strategy for EDC in these times of concern around climate change and commitments to the Kyoto protocol.  I look forward to hearing from you how much financial support has been extended from EDC to the non-nuclear renewable energy industry, and how EDC plans to support this important sector in the future.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Melanie Quevillon
NGO Working Group on Export Development Canada
A Working Group of the Halifax Initiative Coalition

Cc:      The Honourable Pierre Pettigrew, Minister for International Trade
         The Honourable David Anderson, Minister of the Environment