Published by Oil Change International & Friends of the Earth U.S.

April 2024

Download the report. 

Read the press release.

This new report, “Public Enemies: Assessing MDB and G20 international finance institutions’ energy finance” looks at G20 country and MDB traceable international public finance for fossil fuels from 2020-2022 and finds they are still backing at least USD 47 billion per year in oil, gas, and coal projects.

The findings reveal that the wealthiest G20 nations are the primary culprits behind continued investments in fossil fuels, with Canada, Korea, and Japan emerging as the worst offenders. The report also highlights where there has been momentum to end international public finance for fossil fuels, finding that if countries keep their existing commitments to end not only coal finance but also oil and gas finance, it would shift $26 billion annually out of fossil fuels by the end of 2024.

The report analyzes finance from OCI’s open-access database, Public Finance for Energy Database (, which has been updated alongside the release of this report. It tracks financial flows to fossil fuels and clean energy from G20 bilateral development finance institutions (DFIs), export credit agencies (ECAs), and the multilateral development banks (MDBs). 

Download the report.


Our analysis shows that:

Significant continued fossil fuel support by a handful of countries is blocking a globally just and equitable transition to clean energy.

  • Fossil fuels received at least $47 billion annually between 2020 and 2022. 
  • The vast majority of fossil fuel finance is flowing to gas – 54% of known international public finance for fossil fuels flowed to fossil gas, and a further 32% to mixed oil and gas projects between 2020 and 2022. This matches our analysis of these institutions’ fossil fuel exclusion policies, where they exist, which have loopholes that allow for ongoing fossil gas support. 
  • The largest share (46%) of G20 and MDB fossil finance between 2020 and 2022 supported midstream transportation and processing projects. This includes finance for projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada, Mozambique LNG, and Korean built LNG carriers. These are some of the most expensive types of projects in the oil and gas supply chain. 
  • ECAs were the worst international public finance actors, accounting for 65% of all known fossil fuel activity between 2020 and 2022. 
  • The World Bank Group (WBG) provided the most direct finance for fossil fuels of any MDB at $1.2 billion a year on average. At least 68% of this was for fossil gas. 

A small group of worst actors hold an outsized responsibility, while others are working together to shift finance from fossil fuels to clean energy.

  • The top three fossil fuel financiers between 2020 and 2022 were: Canada ($10.9 Billion), Korea ($10 Billion), Japan ($6.9 Billion).
    • At the end of 2022 Canada followed through on their commitment to end their international public finance, and is under pressure to meet a separate pledge to end their much larger domestic ECA fossil fuel finance in 2024. 
    • Korea has yet to make any commitments to end their international public finance for fossil fuels.
    • While Japan is part of a G7 Commitment to end their international public finance for fossil fuels, their current policy includes three circumstances where they can continue financing fossil fuel projects. These have served as loopholes for Japan to continue its fossil fuel financing.
  • Coal exclusion policies have worked to nearly eliminate international public finance for coal. Support for coal dropped from an annual average of $10 billion from 2017 to 2019 to $2 billion a year from 2020 to 2022. This decrease can be attributed to coal exclusion policies that came into effect in 2021, including China’s coal power policy and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ECA Coal Agreement. Now these institutions must do the same and follow through on commitments to end their oil and gas finance.
  • There is momentum to shift international direct finance out of fossil fuels. If countries and institutions honor existing commitments, 55% of this fossil fuel support will end by the end of 2024. 
    • Eight out of the sixteen signatories to the Clean Energy Transition Partnership with significant amounts of international energy finance have put in place policies that end their international fossil fuel support. 
  • However, a few laggards are undermining this progress. 
    • The U.S. is the single biggest violator of the CETP pledge, approving the most fossil fuel projects of any signatory for a total of almost $2.3 billion.
    • Italy and Germany have released policies that fall short of the commitment and have big loopholes that are allowing ongoing fossil gas support.
  • The international public finance institutions of Global North countries invested 58 times more in climate wrecking fossil fuel projects each year 2020-2022 than in the loss and damage fund created at COP28.

Clean energy finance is still too low, and not flowing to the countries that need it most. 

  • Clean energy received almost $34 billion annually between 2020 and 2022. This is the highest annual average for clean finance since our dataset began in 2013, but is far below the estimates of the quantity and quality of public clean energy finance required to limit warming to 1.5°C.
  • The top clean energy financiers between 2020 and 2022 were: France ($2.7 billion), Japan ($2.3 billion), and Germany ($2.3 billion).
  • The majority of clean energy finance is also not going where it is most needed, flowing overwhelmingly to wealthy countries. Just 3% of all clean energy finance between 2020 and 2022 went to low-income countries. Only 18% flowed to lower-middle-income countries.

We urgently need public finance institutions’ policies, priorities, and governance to push towards a globally just energy transition. As part of doing their fair share to limit warming to 1.5°C and ensure a livable future, G20 governments and the MDBs they control must:

  • Implement whole-of-government policies (or whole-of-institution policies in the case of MDBs) to immediately end new public direct and indirect finance for oil, gas, and coal projects. These policies must not include loopholes for technologies including carbon capture and storage (CCS), fossil-based hydrogen, ammonia co-firing, fossil gas, and other dangerous distractions.
  • Dramatically scale up clean energy finance on fair terms, especially for transformative energy democracy and environmental justice priorities where need is greatest. This finance must be delivered on debt sustainable terms, and implemented with safeguards and standards to ensure all projects (a) uphold and protect human rights, including free, prior and informed consent; (b) are implemented with democratic and participatory processes; and (c) ensure the sustainable use of land, water and ecosystems.
  • Reform their public reporting to ensure it is transparent and timely.
  • Provide their fair share of debt cancellation, climate finance and loss and damage support to countries in the Global South.
  • Work towards fair multilateral monetary, trade, tax, debt, and financial regulation rules that are aligned with a safe 1.5°C climate pathway.

Read the full report.