This is huge: World Bank ending funding for oil and gas extraction. Keep it the ground https://t.co/58qyEWIECl
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) December 12, 2017
— Oil Change International (@PriceofOil) December 12, 2017
At One Planet Summit, the World Bank steals the show by phasing out upstream oil and gas finance
In response to the announcement, Oil Change International released the following statements:
Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International, said, “It is hard to overstate the significance of this historic announcement by the World Bank. Environmental, human rights, and development campaigners have been amplifying the voices of frontline communities for decades in calling for an end to World Bank financing of upstream oil and gas projects. Today the World Bank has raised the bar for climate leadership by recognizing the simple yet inconvenient truth that achieving the Paris Agreement’s climate goals requires an end to the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. We congratulate the World Bank, and we look forward to working with them and other partners towards a managed decline of fossil fuel production, and a just, equitable transition to a global clean energy economy. It is time for all of the institutions, countries, investors and individuals who are still in the Paris Agreement to stop funding fossils – once and for all.”
Alex Doukas, Stop Funding Fossils Program Director at Oil Change International, said, “This commitment from the World Bank demonstrates true climate leadership. This sends a clear signal to the world that the fossil fuel era is ending, and that government money can no longer be used to prop up oil, gas, and coal production. Given what we know about the climate crisis, ending fossil fuel finance is simply the rational and moral thing to do. Other finance institutions must now follow the World Bank’s lead and move to stop funding fossils. It is important to note that midstream and downstream oil and gas finance are also major contributors to climate change, and must be addressed to remain within the climate limits established by the Paris Agreement.”
World Bank to end financial support for oil and gas exploration
Bank announces in Paris it ‘will no longer finance upstream oil and gas’ after 2019 in response to threat posed by climate change.
The Bank ceased lending for coal-fired power stations in 2010 but has been under pressure from lobby groups also to halt the $1bn (£750m) a year it has been lending for oil and gas in developing countries.
The Bank said it saw the need to change the way it was operating in a “rapidly changing world”, adding that it was on course to have 28% of its lending going to climate action by 2020. At present, 1-2% of the Bank’s $280bn portfolio is accounted for by oil and gas projects.
In exceptional circumstances, the Bank said it would consider lending for oil and gas projects in the very poorest countries but only where it helped the poor get access to energy and the project did not conflict with commitments to reduce greenhouse gases made in the 2015 Paris climate change accord.
The Greenpeace International climate campaigner Gyorgy Dallos said: “The end is clearly coming for the oil and gas industry as the pace of change accelerates.”
Dallos said the Bank had sent a damning vote of no confidence in the future of the fossil fuel industry. “The world’s financial institutions now need to take note and decide whether their financing is going to be part of the problem or the solution,” he said.