December 13, 2017 Read More →

World Bank to Discontinue Support for Oil and Gas Projects

National Observer (Canada):

The World Bank has confirmed that it will stop financing upstream oil and gas projects after 2019 except under exceptional circumstances in the world’s poorest countries.

The global financial institution made the announcement at climate summit in Paris on Tuesday, which took place roughly two years after the historic COP21 climate conference in the same city.

At Tuesday’s summit, French insurance giant AXA announced that it will cease insuring the oilsands sector and new coal projects, and will divest more than US$3.5 billion from oilsands and coal companies. This includes divestment from energy giants TransCanada, Kinder Morgan and Enbridge, all of which have Canadian offices and are constructing major pipelines: Keystone XL, the Trans Mountain expansion and Line 3, respectively.

Several financially stable countries and multilateral institutions made important pledges to help developing countries meet their commitments under the 2009 Copenhagen Accord on climate action. That roadmap calls for the world to raise US$100-billion every year to help such countries meet their emissions goals by 2020. Last year however, the OECD estimated that only US$43 billion had been pledged, including $2.65 billion in funding from the Government of Canada by 2021.

The absence of the United States remained bittersweet and disappointing for most participants, including California Governor Jerry Brown and former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, who talked about U.S. President Donald Trump’s “irresponsible” decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

But former New York mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg said he thought it had increased momentum.

“There isn’t anything Washington can do to stop us, quite the contrary, I think that President Trump has helped rally people who understand the problem to join forces and to actually do something rather than waiting for the federal government to do something,” Bloomberg said at a press conference.

More: World Bank won’t back oil and gas projects after 2019

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