The 2010 coalition programme for government contained a commitment that:
“We will ensure that UK Trade and Investment and the Export Credits Guarantee Department become champions for British companies that develop and export innovative green technologies round the world, instead of supporting investment in dirty fossil-fuel production.”
UKTI set out in its strategy “Britain Open for Business” how it would promote low-carbon exports; this includes a green export campaign that aims to build the UK’s reputation in the green and low-carbon sector and to promote this capability overseas. UKTI is embedding this campaign into trade work in all markets where there is a clear opportunity to do so.
The Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), operating as UK Export Finance, has been engaging with companies and trade bodies based in the UK which are involved in the development and export of green technology exports. The purpose has been to ensure companies are aware of the support that is available to them from ECGD if they require credit insurance, export working capital finance, contract bond support or if their buyers require export credit loan finance. Through engagement with overseas project sponsors ECGD has also promoted the availability of export credit finance to help to influence them to purchase supplies from companies based in the UK.
This work by UKTI and ECGD is intended to assist UK exporters of low-carbon technologies and support them in taking advantage of international opportunities.
As to support for dirty fossil fuel energy production, “dirty” should be taken as referring to projects which produce pollution in excess of international environmental standards. The standards which ECGD applies are those set out by the OECD in the OECD Council recommendation on Common Approaches on Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence and are usually those of the World Bank Group. ECGD will normally refuse support for exports to projects that do not meet those standards.
The UK will seek to promote the strengthening of the relevant World Bank Group international standards to include limits on emissions of greenhouse gases.