Washington, DC — This years’ World Bank Spring meetings faced extra scrutiny following the surprise early resignation of World Bank Group (WBG) President David Malpass and expected appointment of Biden Administration nominee and former CEO of Mastercard Ajay Banga as his replacement through the widely criticized “gentleman’s agreement.” There have been few concrete developments in high-profile proposals to increase the Bank’s financing capacity or including the G7+ led ‘evolution roadmap.’ A new Paris Alignment ‘sector note on energy and extractives’ keeps all existing pathways for WBG fossil gas support open. 

As the World Bank Group Spring Meetings come to a close, Oil Change International and Big Shift Global experts gave the following comments: 

On fossil fuel finance and the evolution roadmap, Dean Bhekumuzi Bhebhe, Campaigner with Powershift Africa said:
“The World Bank Group (WBG) once again failed to make serious commitments to stop its support for fossil fuels. In 2022 the WBG still provided almost a billion dollars in public finance to support climate-wrecking fossil fuels, on top of ‘indirect’ support like its development policy finance that has a record of locking recipient countries into expensive and volatile fossil fuel contracts and subsidy regimes. We cannot afford for this to continue, especially as the evolution roadmap and other proposals to increase WBG’s overall lending capacity continue to be discussed. Giving the Bank more power and money will just result in more fossil fuels, more debt, and more inequality unless the institution is forced to first change its ways.”  

On expectations for incoming President Ajay Banga, Bronwen Tucker, Public Finance Campaign Manager with Oil Change International said:
“We need concrete commitments from Banga to push the Bank to stop funding all fossil fuels, pass democratic voting reforms, and pursue serious debt cancellation, not just the lip service we are seeing so far. There is unfortunately little in Banga’s long career at predatory banks and corporations, with no experience in development, environment, or the public sector, to suggest he is interested in transforming the World Bank Group into an institution that can work for people and the planet. If the Bank is allowed to fade out of the spotlight just because Malpass is gone, we are doomed to five more years of Bank-fuelled fossils, debt, and inequality.” 

On the new Paris Alignment “Sector Note” on Energy and Extractives, Claire O’Manique, Research Analyst with Oil Change International said:
“Instead of adding much-needed fossil gas restrictions, the World Bank Group (WBG)’s new Paris Alignment Sector Note on Energy and Extractives just adds elaborate excuses to justify keeping their fossil gas funding as-is. The WBG will add a ‘least cost analysis’ to compare fossil gas power to renewable alternatives, but not at the sub-institutions that fund the majority of these projects (IFC and MIGA). They will continue to fund fossil gas pipelines with blind faith that they will be one day possible to decarbonize. They will continue to subsidize fossil fuel companies to reduce their emissions, instead of getting companies to pay their fair share. If the World Bank Group continues with business as usual policies like this, we will never meet the necessary climate goals to protect people and planet.” 

On direct and indirect fossil fuel finance, Andri Prasetiyo, Energy Policy and Finance Researcher with Trend Asia said: 
“The World Bank Group’s new President must prioritize urgently redirecting direct and indirect finance away from fossil gas, even in developing countries such as Indonesia, and align both private investment and public policy with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to below 1.5C. Continuing to finance gas is tantamount to climate denial. The idea of fossil gas as a bridging fuel from coal to renewable energy is a fallacy that hinders the transition to clean and renewable energy sources, such as local, sustainable, and renewable energy.”


  • New data on WBG and other MDBs’ fossil fuel finance can be found here
  • More information can be found in this media backgrounder on the meetings from Big Shift Global, a coalition of 55 groups calling on the world’s Multilateral Development Banks to stop funding fossils and support a globally just energy transition instead. 


One Comment

  • Why waste more time and money on meetings that accomplish nothing? Either we care about the air we breathe, the water we drink and the ground that we grow our food in or we don’t. The air we breathe is polluted by the emissions from Fossil Fuels from the Oil Conglomerates, from Coal from the Coal Corps; from Gas from the Gas Companies, and from Industrial pollution from the likes of Smelters that produce Iron and Steel products. Our immune systems are compromised by these scientifically Proven facts. This continual pollution not only ruins our water supply, our air, and our ground, but it reaches into our atmosphere and ever widens the OZONE layer we have that protects us from the harmful rays of the sun. This process is destroying our ability to cool our PLANET. These harmful rays not only cause more skin cancer cases, they burn up our GLACIERS, our ICEBERGS, our ICE SHIELD giving rise to our temperatures. This past year in the United States we recorded 123 1/2 degrees F. Canada recorded 122 degrees F. Germany recorded their highest level heat ever recorded. These three scenarios are factual indicators of the mess WE have created. All this ice melting has also created flooding in certain parts of the world. If our practice of using Fossil Fuel, Gas, and Coal in the way we are currently using them, we are destined to have wider flooding as the Water must find its own level. Every Peninsula like the Scandinavian Peninsula or even Florida, and every Island like Manhattan Island, no mater the size will be shortened and narrowed. Sea levels are currently rising, and that is not just because Cruise Ships and the like, are using the Oceans and Seas as a receptacle for their trash.

    Please Stop the playacting, and get something of substance done. I don’t know where or when the “point of no return” lies. But I do positively know that we are closer to it than we were five years ago, or even last year.

    I am eighty-four years of age, a retired successful well traveled businessman in reasonable health. I write this in disappointment, but without prejudice. It is my intention to enlighten and motivate staunch ethics, and to initiate a solution to a problem that will only increase without proper address.

    Allan Weiss

    CC: Wew Jjw Dy

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