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Global Witness vs. UK Export Finance

Case overview

Date filed 16 March 2020
Current status Rejected
Issue UK Export Finance fails climate commitments, disclosures
Summary of the case On 16 March 2020, Global Witness filed a specific instance against UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency, at the United Kingdom NCP. The complaint concerns the activities of UK Export Finance in providing export credit services worldwide. The complainants allege that UK Export Finance is failing to commit and contribute to the climate targets set by the Paris Agreement, and does not disclose its indirect greenhouse gas emissions, in breach of its responsibilities under the OECD Guidelines. Global Witness is seeking mediation from the NCP to encourage UK Export Finance to commit to disclosing its full emissions footprint, bring its portfolio in line with the Paris Agreement 1.5C goal, and rapidly phase out all of its support for fossil fuels.
Developments/Outcome In a very controversial decision, the UK NCP has rejected a complaint against the UK export credit agency (UK Export Finance) related to climate impacts, claiming that UKEF is not a “multinational enterprise” and thus not covered by the OECD Guidelines. This is controversial because other NCPs (e.g. Dutch) have previously determined that their ECAs do fall under the OECD Guidelines.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Environment, Climate change, Financial sector

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point United Kingdom
NCP address London, United Kingdom
NCP website
Other NCPs involved



Company Information

Company responsible UK Export Finance
Company address
Company website
Company in violation
Country of operations United Kingdom
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
9 September 2020 National Contact Point United Kingdom reject The UK NCP has rejected the complaint. download pdf (394Kb)  
17 March 2020 Global Witness Press coverage Guardian article on complaint filing download pdf (398Kb)  
17 March 2020 Global Witness Press coverage Financial Times article on complaint filing download pdf (331Kb)  
16 March 2020 Global Witness file Complainants file complaint at UK NCP download pdf (921Kb)  

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