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NGO: World Bank invests over $12.5 billion in fossil fuels since Paris Agreement

German NGO Urgewald says the World Bank Group has invested over $12 billion in fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement in December 2015, $10.5 billion of which was new direct fossil fuel project finance.

According to Urgewald, data shows that the energy transition is happening ‘far too slowly’.

Urgewald said: ‘Researchers from several expert organisations, including the UN Environment Program, determined the world is currently on track to produce 120% more fossil fuels by 2030 than is compatible with a 1.5°C pathway. Thus, we are already on track to miss the Paris Climate Agreement goal.’

Urgewald, citing the Economist, also said annual investments in wind and solar capacity need to reach about $750 billion, which requires a tripling of current investment levels.

Urgewald said: ‘Simply put, there is far too much invested in fossil fuel production and not enough in renewable energy. Actions that slow down the energy transition result in more destabilising climate-related consequences. The World Bank states that without urgent action, climate change will push more than 100 million people into poverty by 2030.’

However, Urgeworld says the World Bank ‘is a big part of the problem’.

‘The World Bank Group provides public assistance for development around the world. The World Bank Group has committed to assisting countries to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and often points to its investments in renewable energy and other “climate finance”,’ the NGO said.

However, according to Urgewald, since the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, the World Bank Group has financed more than $12.1 billion in fossil fuel projects, including $200 million in new technical assistance aimed at fossil fuel development and $1.4 billion in existing fossil fuel equity invested before the Paris Agreement.

The $12.1 billion invested in fossil fuel projects, says Urgewald, is making 38 countries ‘more dependent on fossil fuels’.

‘The World Bank must get out of all fossil fuels now,’ said Urgewald. ‘The Bank’s public assistance should only be used to assist countries towards a just energy transition. Rather than locking countries into dependency on the fossil fuel industry, the Bank should finance job training for workers to leave those industries.’

Rhys Berry

Rhys Berry