The World Bank Will Stop Financial Support For Oil and Gas Exploration

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As world leaders convene at the One Planet Summit on the second anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, environmental advocates are cautiously celebrating the "historic announcement" by the World Bank on Tuesday that it will stop funding oil and gas exploration and production projects after 2019.

The World Bank will continue to support and finance midstream and downstream natural gas investments for transport and distribution to consumers and for power generation.

Lending for oil and gas projects will be allowed in very poor countries where such projects are seen to help the poor get access to energy.

The newspaper said the World Bank is on course to have 28% of its lending go towards climate action by 2020.

The World Bank has justified the decision by saying that technological shifts and evolving markets mean that for many countries there are now a wider set of low-priced options to strengthen energy supply and extend access to energy.

Image: The World Bank Group headquarters in Washington, D.C., US.

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"Major financial institutions like the World Bank are pulling their support of fossil fuel projects because they recognize that the pressure to do so is only going to increase and because they are bad investments", said Kelly Martin, director of the Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign. This announcement was made at the One Planet Summit in Paris.

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".

A lack of money has always been a constraint to the global effort to limit global warming, worsened by US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw America from the Paris Agreement and slash funding for climate projects. However, that hasn't stopped numerous communities and businesses from continuing their carbon reduction goals.

Climate Action 100+, which is comprised of 225 investment funds managing more than $26 trillion in assets, said it would use its financial clout to raise the issue of climate-related risk with 100 of the world's largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters.

French President Emmanuel Macron proposed raising the minimum price per metric ton of carbon dioxide to 30 euros ($35.39).

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