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World Bank Group to end financing for upstream oil and gas projects by 2019

The World Bank Group (WBG) has announced plans to stop financing upstream oil and gas projects after 2019, to help combat climate change.

The announcement was made by the WBG, which includes the World Bank and three other institutions, at the One Planet Summit in held Paris on Wednesday.

Commenting on the event, UN Climate Change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “Today has marked another extraordinary moment in the world-wide efforts to turn the promise of the Paris Agreement into a global reality—in other words delivering a climate secure future to all corners of the Earth and contributing to the sustainable future of every man, woman and child.”

The event was attended by France President Emmanuel Macron, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim.

However, World Bank said it would continue to finance certain gas projects in the poorest countries in exceptional circumstances.

World Bank said:  “The WBG is on track to meet its target of 28% of its lending going to climate action by 2020 and to meeting the goals of its Climate Change Action Plan – developed following the Paris Agreement.” 

As part of this effort, the World Bank Group plans to present a stock-take of its Climate Change Action Plan as well as announce new commitments and targets beyond 2020 at COP24, which is scheduled to be held in Poland in 2018.

In addition to mobilizing finance for transformation in mitigation and climate resilience, the World Bank will work with various partners to deepen climate action.

Recently, the WBG agreed to provide $1.15bn loan to the Egypt government to help reduce fossil fuel subsidies and encourage low-carbon energy investment.


Image: The World Bank Group headquarters in Washington, D.C., US. Photo: courtesy of Shiny Things/Wikipedia.