Federal agencies that finance fossil fuel development projects overseas reached a half a billion dollar settlement that requires them to fully evaluate the carbon impacts of the international projects they support. Under the agreement reached in the U.S. District Court in Northern California February 6, the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) agreed to each pay $250 million to support renewable projects going forward. The California cities of Oakland, Santa Monica, Arcata, and Boulder, Colorado, along with the environmental organizations Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, sued to force the Ex-Im Bank and the OPIC to carry out a cumulative environmental analysis pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of the hundreds of power projects they finance. \u201cThis settlement represents a major step in the campaign to bring real transparency and responsible environmental standards to energy projects subsidized by our tax dollars,\u201d said John Russo, Oakland City Attorney. The intent of the agreement is to \u201cfully inform the Export-Import board\u201d of a fossil fuel project\u2019s emissions impacts, said Phil Cogan, Export-Import Bank spokesperson. Previously the board was only provided a project\u2019s gross amount of carbon emissions. The tons of greenhouse gas will now be put in context of the host country\u2019s and world-wide annual greenhouse gas emissions. The plaintiffs charged that energy projects the two federal lending agencies have helped finance are responsible for more than 7 percent of global emissions. The Ex-Im Bank provided $25 billion in loans and financial guarantees to 450 fossil-fuel projects-- from coal plants to transmission lines--in locations ranging from Mexico to China between 1990 and 2001 (Circuit, April 21, 2006) Under the agreement, the city and environmental group attorneys will work with the bank to develop a carbon policy. OPIC is mandated to report the carbon impacts of financed projects and reduce their greenhouse gases by 20 percent over the next 10 years. It is also required to publicly release its environmental impact assessments of past fossil fuel projects. \u201cWe think the settlement is in the best interest of the bank and taxpayers,\u201d Cogan said. The federal agencies attempted unsuccessfully to get the suit thrown out two years ago. In April 2007, the federal judge in San Francisco issued an unprecedented ruling, refusing to dismiss this novel suit challenging the way the U.S. finances international power projects to stem global warming impacts in this country.