World Bank Group pledges to stop investing in oil and gas exploration

Elias Hubbard
December 18, 2017

The agreement, which former President Barack Obama signed exactly two years ago, pushed member nations to curb greenhouse gas emissions, like carbon dioxide and methane, to keep the global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Bloomberg is in Paris this week attending French President Emmanuel Macron's One Planet Summit, a gathering of 50 world leaders and corporate executives to discuss solutions to the climate change problem.

The charter also outlines a process for mayors to develop policies and local laws that empower cities to take greater action on climate change.

The companies and organizations supporting the TCFD, which have more than doubled in number in the five months since the recommendations were published in June 2017, span the entire capital and investment chain.

Investors controlling about 62% of shares backed a proposal led by the NY state employees' retirement fund calling for an annual assessment of the impact of technological change and climate policy on the company's operations.

The 237 companies, with a combined value of over $6.3 trillion, include construction firms, energy companies and financial institutions from 29 countries.

The Task Force, led by Michael R. Bloomberg and established by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), chaired by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, developed voluntary recommendations on climate-related information that companies should disclose to help investors, lenders, and others make sound financial decisions.

The World Bank said it will no longer finance upstream oil and gas projects after 2019, apart from certain gas projects the poorest countries in exceptional circumstances.

The World Bank now holds $961m (£722m) of guarantee operations, set up to support private sector investments in gas and oil explorations.

Dutch bank ING plans to have zero investments in coal power generation by 2025. "It's a clear signal that the balance of risk is to bet against fossil fuels", he said in a phone interview. "Unlike traditional climate negotiations it won't be countries that are in focus, it will be business and banks", said Hendricks.

It added, though, that "when engagement and improvement don't work, we don't provide financing".

Bill Gates, Richard Branson and other energy executives and investment fund leaders announced a dozen worldwide projects emerging from the summit that will inject money into efforts to curb climate change.

Part of the reason to keep up momentum on fighting climate change is the vacancy in action and financing left by the U.S. government under Mr Trump.

Tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet and environmental and indigenous rights groups in Canada, the United States and Europe are urging financial institutions to stop supporting it because of its climate and local environmental impacts.

Modern-day science was revealing with each day the danger that global warming posed to the planet, he said.

The global climate summit in Paris was created to bypass Donald Trump, but the US president ended up playing a starring role. The fund, agreed on in 2009, aims to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 but is now about a third short.

The prime minister of the Pacific island nation of Fiji warned Tuesday that climate change should be considered a life or death issue for millions of people.

Frank Bainimarama, who chaired last month's United Nations climate meeting in Bonn, Germany, said the financial resources required to shift the world economy onto a low-carbon path were there, but that the money needs to flow faster if it's going to make a difference.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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