World Bank invests ‘three times more’ in oil and gas than renewables, report finds

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World Bank Group has ploughed triple the amount of investment into the oil and gas sector than renewable energy projects over the last five years, according to a new report.

Findings published today by German NGO Urgewald reveal that World Bank backed the oil and gas and coal sectors to the tune of £16 billion between 2014 to 2018, while only £5.3bn was invested in renewables.

The report also shows that more than £5bn was was spent on hydropower, but that the authors of the report excluded that amount because of the associated “significant social and environmental impacts”.

Author of the report, Heike Mainhardt said: “The bank is getting around its no coal power plants pledge, undermining its own efforts for renewable energy sources as well as the Paris climate goals.

“It is a big disappointment to find that the World Bank Group continues to provide such vast amounts of public finance for fossil fuels.”

The numbers reveal deep and long lasting investment by the bank in sectors it pledged to divest from in 2013.

However, the report shows that World Bank currently holds equity shares in twelve oil and gas projects worth £394 million.

Ute Koczy, World Bank campaigner at Urgewald, said World Bank had to move to “advocate an upstream carbon tax for fossil exploration and extraction that effectively reduces the use of fossil fuels”.

He added: “The promotion of decentralised, renewable energy systems must be at the heart of its energy strategy.”

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