The U.S. government’s major financing agencies for overseas development projects have committed to scrutinizing fossil-fuel facilities for their effect on global warming and pledging to help build renewable energy plants abroad. The decision was revealed in settlement agreements filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in a lawsuit brought by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth against the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corp. The environmental groups were joined by four cities. The cities argued that carbon dioxide spewed into the atmosphere by such U.S.-financed projects as oil refineries and gas pipelines affect the Earth’s climate. From 1995 to 2006, the Ex-Im Bank and OPIC provided more than $21 billion in loans and loan guarantees for oil refineries, pipeline projects, liquefied natural gas plants and electric power plants around the world, according to a Los Angeles Times investigation in 2007. An analysis of a sample of 48 project found that they would emit 12 billion metric tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions over their lifetime. The agencies’ change of heart came as the Obama administration has committed to a new direction in climate policy.