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Seven European countries to halt export finance for fossil fuels

·1-min read

PARIS (Reuters) - Seven European countries, including Germany, France and Britain, will commit on Wednesday to stop public export guarantees for fossil fuel projects, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.

Coal, oil and gas infrastructure have traditionally made up a large share of the portfolios of many countries' public export finance agencies, which support exports through state-backed financing guarantees and insurance against losses abroad.

Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are the other four countries to back the initiative.

Britain, France and Sweden have already laid out plans to halt export guarantees for the fossil fuel sector while the other countries in the group have yet to decide how fast they will phase out their support.

"We are totally determined to stop all export guarantees financing fossil fuels while taking into account each country's industrial specifics and the impact on jobs," Le Maire said.

Speaking before a meeting on Wednesday where the pledge is to be formalised, Le Maire added that he hoped U.S. President Joe Biden's administration would join the group, which together accounts for 40% of export finance among OECD countries, following an upcoming review of U.S. export finance.

Le Maire also said the seven countries would commit to supporting climate-friendly projects and transparency in their export finance policies.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas. Editing by Mark Potter)