April 14, 2016

Alex Doukas, alex [at] priceofoil [dot] org
Elizabeth Bast, ebast [at] priceofoil [dot] org

World Bank still funding the search for new fossil fuels, despite climate commitments

New analysis released today by Oil Change International shows that the World Bank Group continues to finance billions of dollars in oil, gas, and coal projects each year, including projects to explore for new fossil fuel reserves. The World Bank Group provided $313 million in fossil fuel exploration-related investment in fiscal year 2015 alone. The support comes despite the World Bank’s commitment to climate change targets that mean at least three quarters of existing fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground.

The World Bank Group has further continued to finance billions of dollars in oil, gas, and coal projects in the last five years, at rates nearly three times higher in fiscal year 2015 than fiscal year 2011. In FY 2015, the World Bank Group financed more than $2 billion in oil, gas, and coal projects.

“Under the Paris climate agreement, governments around the world agreed that shifting finance away from dirty fossil fuels and toward renewable energy is an urgent task, yet public finance institutions like the World Bank are using our tax money to bankroll dirty energy investments,” said Alex Doukas, Senior Campaigner at Oil Change International. “The Asian Development Bank has had a ban on financing fossil fuel exploration projects for years. There’s no reason the World Bank couldn’t adopt a similar policy as a first step toward phasing out all finance for polluting fossil fuel projects. Nobody in their right mind should be funding fossil fuel exploration projects; it’s time for the World Bank to stop funding fossils.”

The full briefing note can be found here:



  • The analysis looks at the operations of the World Bank Group (which includes the International Development Association, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Finance Corporation, and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency), from fiscal years 2011 to 2015.
  • Research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes the need to keep at least three quarters of already-known fossil fuel reserves in the ground to maintain a reasonable (67%) chance of limiting climate warming to 2 degrees Celsius, indicating that exploration for new fossil fuel reserves is incompatible with globally-agreed climate goals.


  • The World Bank should be a leading bank, but it appears that they are still living in the dark ages!

  • We’d all be living in the dark ages if it weren’t for oil and gas! This is a collective responsibility. How about more looking in mirrors than pointing of fingers??
    How about turning out the lights and not driving cars or taking trains?? How about a word of thanks to the industry that has done so much to lift so many out of poverty!

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