World Bank to end financing oil and gas projects

12 December 2017

The World Bank Group has announced that it will no longer finance upstream oil and gas, after 2019. It was one of several moves announced by the group at the One Planet Summit held in Paris today.

The group said that in order to "align its support to countries to meet their Paris Agreement goals", it will no longer invest in upstream oil and gas.

However, it said that in "exceptional circumstances" it may consider 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 said it is on track to meets 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.

The group said, "In line with countries submitting updated and potentially more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions, the World Bank Group will present a stock-take of its Climate Change Action Plan and announce new commitments and targets beyond 2020 at COP24 in Poland in 2018."

As from next year, the group will report greenhouse gas emissions from the investment projects it finances in key emissions-producing sectors, such as energy. These results will be published in late 2018, and annually thereafter.

The World Bank said it will be applying a "shadow price" on carbon in the economic analysis of all International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or International Development Association projects in key high-emitting sectors where design has begun since July this year. The International Finance Corporation, it noted, started using carbon pricing in key sectors in January and will "mainstream the same starting January 2018".

The One Planet Summit was convened by French President Emmanuel Macron, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

Kim has previously stated that the World Bank Group does not engage in providing support for nuclear power projects.

World Nuclear Association Director General Agneta Rising said: "The World Bank should be held responsible for not supporting equally all clean technologies." She noted the International Energy Agency's Sustainable Development Scenario states that a mix of clean energy technologies, including nuclear energy, is needed to achieve both environmental objectives and global development goals.

"The World Bank has an outdated policy that doesn’t make the most of all clean technologies, especially the services nuclear give to society and the electricity system", Rising said. "The IEA recognises that nuclear has a key role to play. We expect the World Bank to do the same."

She added, "If we are going to achieve a sustainable energy future that protects the planet we will need to make the best use of all low-carbon options. The global nuclear industry has set a target of supplying 25% of the world's electricity by 2050, which would require the construction of 1000 GWe of new nuclear capacity. The World Bank should help support this goal, rather than arbitrarily exclude vital low-carbon options such as nuclear energy."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News