Last week, civil society advocates from across the world convened outside the Washington DC headquarters of the World Bank to protest the Bank’s highly controversial financing of deadly fossil fuel projects.
The World Bank Group released new climate targets for 2021-2025, aiming to provide and mobilize $200 billion in support of countries’ climate action. Members of the Big Shift Global coalition react to this announcement.
“While this new commitment is an important step forward, it’s not enough. Millions of people are currently being left behind when it comes to accessing clean, affordable energy. The World Bank must commit to significantly scaling up its finance to support energy access for those without it, particularly for distributed renewable energy solutions.”
All financial institutions, public and private, including the World Bank, must still work toward aligning their finance with the aim of keeping global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius, but today, the World Bank set a high new bar in climate leadership.
Today at the One Planet Summit the World Bank set a new bar for financial climate leadership by committing to end finance for oil and gas extraction and exploration projects.
The 12 projects contained in today’s new briefing are examples that demonstrate how public finance is still acting as a critical lifeline for destructive fossil fuel projects, many of which could not otherwise be built, and how this support continues to this day, a full year after the Paris Agreement entered into force.
Over 200 civil society groups released a letter calling on multilateral development banks, including the World Bank, and leaders of G20 governments to commit to phase out subsidies and public finance for fossil fuels as soon as possible.
To have any hope of meeting globally-agreed climate goals, global financial flows must rapidly align with low-emission, climate-resilient development, and government-backed public finance institutions like the World Bank must signal this transition.