The World Bank Group today announced its plans to stop all financial support for upstream oil and gas projects globally as part of its continuing efforts to transform its operations in line with the rapidly changing world.
Giving this hint in his High-Level Session opening remarks at the One Planet Summit Paris, France, the World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, said that the decision to discontinue funding of upstream oil and gas projects was informed by the need to ensure alignment of our support to countries to meet their Paris goals.
Kim, who commended all the countries and corporate entities that were part of the Paris Climate Change agreement for their commitment to achieve the set goals, however, explained that in exceptional circumstances, the World Bank group would still consider financing upstream gas projects in the world poorest countries.
Kim clarified: “As a global multilateral development institution, the World Bank Group is continuing to transform its own operations in recognition of a rapidly changing world. To ensure alignment of our support to countries to meet their Paris goals, today we are announcing that the World Bank Group will no longer finance upstream oil and gas, after 2019.
“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.”, the World Bank Group President added.
On the successes recorded so far on the Climate Change agenda, the banking expert cited some modest achievements recorded in India through the investments of a private company –Energy Efficiency Services Limited, and the deal on the Indonesia’s Geothermal, a Resource Risk Mitigation Facility, established by the Government of Indonesia with support from the World Bank and other partners as encouraging.
Other interventions include, the new City Resilience Programme – or CRP, where we’re partnering with the Global Covenant of Mayors to bring together the largest global alliance of cities committed to tackling climate change, and the West African Coastal Areas Management Programme, or WACA, which targets 17 West African countries with the goal of crowding-in two billion dollars to tackle coastal erosion, flooding, and climate change adaptation.
The World Bank President thanked the Government of France for continuing to strengthen the spirit that led to the Paris Agreement.
He reminsced: “Two years ago, we came together in this city and declared that climate change is a “common concern of humankind,” and we affirmed our collective determination to “respond to the urgent threat of climate change.
“We’re here at this extraordinary event to raise our collective ambitions for speed and scale. 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”, Kim added.