Export credits

Environmental and Social Due Diligence


Policies, practices and experiences with regard to addressing environmental and social issues

Consistent with the mandate of the OECD Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees (ECG),  Members have, since the mid-1990s, been sharing information on their policies, practices and experiences with regard to addressing environmental and, more recently, social issues, leading to discussions to establish common approaches for taking such issues into account when providing officially supported export credits.

The result of these discussions has been a series of agreements and OECD Recommendations since the late 1990s relating to measures Members should take to address the potential environmental and social impacts of projects for which official export credit  support is requested.

The current agreement is the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence, which was adopted on 28 June 2012 and revised by the OECD Council on 6 April 2016. This agreements sets common approaches for undertaking environmental and social due diligence  to identify, consider and address the potential environmental and social impacts and risks relating to applications for officially supported export credits as an integral part of Members’ decision-making and risk management systems.

Whilst an OECD Recommendation is legally non-binding, it expresses the common position or will of the whole OECD memberships and therefore may entail important political commitment for Member governments.

In order to monitor Members’ implementation of the OECD Recommendations, since 2005, Members have been responding to a series of Surveys on their policies and practices: their responses, together with annual reviews, are available elsewhere on this website.

In addition, the OECD Secretariat monitors Members’ support for those projects classified as Category A and Category B, i.e. with high or medium potential environmental and/or social impacts: again, information on this projects is available elsewhere on this website.

In parallel, Members’ environmental and social experts (the "Practitioners") have been undertaking technical work relating to the application of the OECD Recommendations: in this context, they have recently issued a Guidance Note on Good Practice in the use of Consultants by Export Credit Agencies.

Lastly, Members have considered issues relating to certain sectors: in this context, the ECG agreed a statement on export credits and hydro-power projects in 2005 and, more recently, agreed to provide special financial terms and conditions for export credits to renewable energy, climate change mitigation and adaption, and water projects (CCSU) and to limit support to coal-fired electricity generation projects (CFSU).

last updated: 16 December 2016