From Sace 77 billion in guarantees in 3 years to the oil & gas sector. Environmentalists’ letter to Draghi: “Stop financing fossil fuels”

From Sace 77 billion in guarantees in 3 years to the oil & gas sector. Environmentalists’ letter to Draghi: “Stop financing fossil fuels”
From Sace 77 billion in guarantees in 3 years to the oil & gas sector. Environmentalists’ letter to Draghi: “Stop financing fossil fuels”

On the occasion of the summit Finance in Common hosted by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, ReCommon e Oil Change International they ask Mario Draghi a personal commitment so that the Sace stop financing fossil fuel projects. And they do so in a letter, with the support of 44 realities of Italian and international civil society. But just a few days ago, the Italian Export Credit Agency, of which the Prime Minister was president in the 1990s, should make public the approval of the support (through export credit) to the progetto Arctic LNG-2 for thegas extraction in one of the areas with the most fragile ecosystem of the entire Siberian Arctic. Just as the French government would like to distance itself from it. In 2016, Sace had already participated in the twin project, Yamal Lng, by issuing a guarantee in favor of the Turin bank Intesa Sanpaolo, financier of the work with 750 million euros. “Not to mention the approval of the guarantees for the projects Coral South e Mozambique LNG and that still pending for Rovuma LNG, gas megaprojects – comments ReCommon – which are causing negative impacts both for the environment and for the population of the Mozambique”.

SACE’S SUPPORT FOR FOSSIL FUELS – Sace is among the most active public agencies in financing of fossil fuels and in recent years it has increased its support for projects and companies in the sector oil&gas. Away from the spotlight, in three years it has mobilized resources equal to 77 billion euros and in 2020 it carried out operations for 46 billion euros, more than the last budget maneuver (40 billion). As mentioned by the association in the report Warranty status, 61% of its private portfolio is dominated by just two sectors: cruise ship (41%) e oil (20%), where there is a strong presence of state-owned companies, such as Eni e Fincantieri. “Since theParis climate agreement – recalls the association – at least 20% of its portfolio went to the oil & gas sector to promote its expansion globally. In five years it has guaranteed more than 18 billion dollars for new fossil fuel projects “. Yet, as reiterated again in recent days by the International Energy Agency, there can be no investments in new supplies of fossil fuels to meet the objective of maintaining the global warming below 1.5 ° C.

THE PROJECT IN THE RUSSIAN ARCTIC – Already last May, about forty members of the European Parliament (including the Greens Eleonora Evi, Rosa D’Amato, Piernicola Pedicini e Ignazio Corrao) had also written to Draghi to express their concerns regarding the possible support for the ‘Arctic LNG 2’ project by the export credit agencies of France, Germany e Italy. Emphasizing that the construction project of a liquefaction terminal of liquefied natural gas (Gnl) in Siberia “Financed by the Russian gas producer Novatek and the French oil giant Total, is not compatible with the Paris climate agreement, with the Green deal europeo o la Climate Law”.

‘Arctic LNG 2’ aims to export LNG to Asia via the North Sea, taking advantage of the massive melting of sea ice caused by global warming. Today, most of the traffic on this route is already linked to LNG. The same president Emmanuel Macron he has declared: “Using this route will kill us”.

THE PARADOX – “Sace has always been one of the pillars on which the Italian system rests and, following the pandemic, its role has become even more central, choosing which companies and sectors to support through its programs”, he comments Simone Ogno of ReCommon, according to which this support “most often went to the usual suspects, the Italian giants of the Italian fossil industry”. And now “the government has entrusted her with the keys to the Italian Green Deal, a disconcerting paradox“. All this while the government of the UK (who shares the presidency of the Cop26 with Italy) instead announced its decision to end international public support for fossil fuels, including export financing. United Kingdom e European Investment Bank (Bei) are also at work with the intention of launching a joint declaration together with other governments and public financial institutions to obtain a stop to public funding for fossil fuels at COP26. “If Prime Minister Draghi takes the 1.5 ° C limit for global warming seriously, he must immediately put an end to new export financing and other forms of public funding for fossil fuel-related projects. The science has been clear that there can be no more investment in new fossil projects in a 1.5 ° C scenario. Italy should join the UK and the EIB in their commitment to end public funding for fossil fuels “, concludes Laurie Van der Burg di Oil Change International.

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