Climate Change Task Force
February 11, 2009
OPIC and Ex-Im Bank Settle CO2 Lawsuits
Good News for Renewables; Not So for Fossil Fuels
Both the Overseas Private Investment Bank (OPIC) and the Export-
Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) have recently settled longstanding
litigation with environmental groups concerning the lending
institutions’ financing of greenhouse gas emitting projects. The
lawsuits had alleged that OPIC and Ex-Im Bank financing decisions
violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) because
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions had not factored in the approval
processes. Under the terms of the settlements, both OPIC and
Ex-Im Bank will develop policies that account for CO2 emissions in
their project reviews, establish $250 million funds each for
investment in renewable energy projects, and make substantially
more project information available for public review.
Under its settlement, OPIC will automatically require an
environmental impact assessment or audit for any project that would
emit more than 100,000 tons CO2e per year (“high-emitting
projects”). Other required policies include annual reporting of high-
emitting projects, substantial increases in support for renewable
energy projects for at least the next ten years, and a goal to reduce
by 20 percent over the next ten years greenhouse gas emissions
associated with high-emitting projects.
For more information, contact:
The Ex-Im Bank settlement terms include similar policy
Cynthia A.M. Stroman requirements. Bank staff must report CO2 emissions in project
(202) 626-2381 documentation submitted to the Bank’s Board for project approval,
firstname.lastname@example.org provide a public assessment for each large fossil fuel project as to
whether NEPA review is required, and work toward favoring
King & Spalding renewable energy projects in financing decisions.
1700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW King & Spalding is an international law firm with more than 880 lawyers in Abu Dhabi, Atlanta,
Washington, DC 20006-4706 Austin, Charlotte, Dubai, Frankfurt, Houston, London, New York, Riyadh (affiliated office), San
Tel: (202) 737-0500 Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington, DC. The firm represents half of the Fortune 100 and in
Fax: (202) 626-3737 Corporate Counsel surveys consistently has been among the top firms representing Fortune 250
companies. For additional information, visit www.kslaw.com.
This alert provides a general summary of recent legal developments. It is not intended to be and
www.kslaw.com should not be relied upon as legal advice.
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