One of the world’s leading financial institutions just announced plans to stop financing oil and gas projects. Today at the One Planet Summit, the World Bank officially announced that it will quit financing upstream oil and gas after 2019. The announcement is part of their efforts to assist developing countries in meeting the goals of the Paris Accord.
World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, together with French president Emmanuel Macron and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, gathered world leaders at the One Planet Summit to work towards action on climate change. On the occasion, the World Bank Group made several announcements, the first of which was their decision to quit financing upstream oil and gas after 2019.
The move is meant to help developing nations move closer to Paris deal goals. There may be exceptions for some countries; the World Bank said, “In exceptional circumstances, consideration will be given to financing upstream gas in the poorest countries where there is a clear benefit in terms of energy access for the poor and the project fits within the countries’ Paris Agreement commitments.”
In opening remarks, Kim called for incentives for change, such as “removing fossil fuel subsidies, introducing carbon pricing, increasing energy efficiency standards, and implementing auctions for lowest cost renewable energy.” He said, “Every day, climate change becomes a more urgent economic, social, and existential threat to all countries and all people. We need investments in the trillions – not billions – to have any hope of keeping the commitments we made here two years ago. That’s what this summit is all about.”
The World Bank also said they’re on track to reach their goal of directing 28 percent of their lending towards climate action by 2020. They also think they’ll meet the targets of their Climate Change Action Plan, which seeks to assist developing countries in adding enough renewable energy to power 150 million houses, or 30 gigawatts.
Via the World Bank