ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS: EXPORT CREDITS FOR HYDRO POWER PROJECTS
At their meeting on 16 November 2005, the Participants to the Export Credit Arrangement (1) decided that the extended repayment terms and financial conditions for renewable energies and water projects (which allow for up to 15 years repayment terms for renewable energies and water projects (2) and which came into effect on 1 July 2005 for a two-year trial period (3) ) could be implemented from 1 December 2005 for hydro power projects. In making their decision, the Participants took note of the Statement of 15 November 2005 made at the OECD in Paris by a number of Member countries and the European Commission, and agreed the application of this statement to the granting of officially supported export credits for hydro power projects.
According to their statement, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Commission, in confirming the application of the OECD Recommendation on environmental common approaches for officially supported export credits to hydro-power projects, acknowledged that the standard practice is that such projects should in all material respects meet the requirements of the relevant aspects of all the World Bank Group Safeguard Policies.
These countries and the European Commission also recognised the value of the relevant aspects of other international sources of guidance, such as the draft Sustainability Guidelines produced by the International Hydropower Association and the Core Values and Strategic Priorities of the World Commission on Dams Report.
(1) The nine Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits are: Australia, Canada, European Community, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States.
(2) The renewable energies and water sectors covered by this agreement include wind energy, geothermal energy, tidal and tidal stream power, wave power, solar photovoltaic power, solar thermal energy, ocean thermal energy and bio-energy. Water projects covered are those related to the supply of water for human use and wastewater treatment facilities.
(3) The agreement to extend repayment terms for renewable energies and water projects was concluded against the backdrop of the commitments made at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Millennium Development Goals to promote the use of renewable energy resources and increase access to safe drinking water, especially in developing countries.