Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

ECGD under fire over environment

EFFORTS TO monitor the effectiveness of Britain's export credit guarantee agency ECGD are hampered by its failure to provide environmental impact information, MPs have warned.

The Commons environmental audit committee criticised the agency for allowing companies involved in projects it backs to be too secretive about them.

ECGD is the government agency responsible for insuring loans for British built projects abroad. It was ordered by the government three years ago to adopt a more 'ethical' approach to projects.

This followed protests over its support for schemes such as the proposed Ilisu Dam in Turkey (NCEI October 2000).

ECGD has since provided project descriptions, details about project clients and UK companies applying for credit guarantees.

But the committee's report says that 'no indication of the environmental or social impacts of the projects is included. This severely hampers systematic analysis of ECGD's performance', the report says.

'Companies have the right to expect ECGD to treat information which is commercially sensitive in a confidential manner but the onus should be on ECGD's clients to demonstrate the need for confidentiality, ' says the report.

'Requests for confidentiality should be tested against rigorous criteriaà A high degree of disclosure should become a condition of ECGD support, especially information regarding social and environmental impacts, ' the report adds.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.