Select Committee on Environmental Audit Eleventh Report


Since our predecessor committee looked at the Export Credits Guarantee Department in 2003, the agency has continued to make progress on sustainable development that deserves to be recognised. Sound foundations have been laid and mechanisms put in place that offer a good framework for further action. There is still room for improvement in the way sustainable development is incorporated into the agency's decision-making and the ECGD must ensure its activities are in line with wider Government aspirations on sustainable development.

The challenge is for the ECGD to demonstrate that sustainable development is given appropriate weight within its current remit, and that it does nothing that would actively undermine this principle. In particular, the ECGD should identify areas where its environmental standards could be tightened. More rigorous standards can then be applied across its portfolio, including to aerospace exports. The ECGD must improve the transparency of its assessment processes and increase the level of disclosure of project information. It is important that the department does more to attract renewable energy and other projects that support sustainable development; support from Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR) will be vital in taking this forward.

The ECGD's approach to sustainable development is all the more important because of its ability to influence and raise standards internationally. A bolder approach from the ECGD on sustainable development issues and transparency will be vital in improving the performance of Export Credit Agencies in general.

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