WASHINGTON, D.C. – At the One Planet Summit in Paris today, the World Bank announced that it will end financing for upstream oil and gas after 2019. This marks a precedent-setting shift for the world’s best-known development finance institution.
For decades, the World Bank has been a major financier of oil and gas extraction and pipeline projects, and thus a backer of the human rights abuses, corruption, environmental harm and climate chaos tied to those projects. And for decades, Friends of the Earth has fought this massive fossil fuel financing. The move also has significant implications for other public and private finance institutions around the world that follow the World Bank’s policies.
Karen Orenstein, Deputy Director of Economic Policy at Friends of the Earth, issued the following response:
The exploitation of oil and gas, in addition to coal, is an affront to the World Bank’s long-claimed goals of poverty alleviation and sustainable development. While the World Bank’s decision to finally end the financing of upstream oil and gas after 2019 is long overdue, it is certainly worth celebrating.
The policies and practices of the World Bank send a strong signal for finance institutions worldwide. We now expect all other public and private finance institutions to follow the World Bank’s lead and end fossil fuel financing once and for all.