Protest at World Bank Headquarters Demands Immediate End to Fossil Fuel Financing
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, during the height of the World Bank Annual Meetings, climate activists gathered at the World Bank headquarters to protest the bank’s continued financing of fossil fuel projects. Despite its climate pledges to prioritize clean energy projects, the Bank has provided billions in public financing for overseas fossil fuels projects and policy advice.
During the protest, a bed on wheels represented World Bank in bed with Big Oil, in light of the recent news that the World Bank has funded $14.8 billion in direct finance to fossil fuels since the Paris Climate Agreement.
Andrew Nazdin, director of Glasgow Actions Team, said, “If the World Bank wants to address global poverty and a looming recession, the best way is to inject billions, possibly trillions, into the clean energy economy. We need to end our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, and protect our global community from climate chaos. It’s time for the Bank to commit to climate justice.”
Ute Koczy, multilateral development banks campaigner at Urgewald, said, “The World Bank and its shareholders have to admit this: Climate change destroys the economic foundations of countries around the world. Pakistan should be warning enough. The motto of the Bank ‘to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in a sustainable way’ will remain wishful thinking until the World Bank Group makes good on its Paris commitments and stops financing fossil fuels decisively and completely.”
Luisa Abbott Galvao, senior international policy campaigner for Friends of the Earth U.S., said, “While the World Bank holds a key position in development financing, its very credibility is in question. We have been calling for the World Bank to stop financing fossil fuels for decades, yet it continues to use public money to support Big Oil profits and incentives. It’s time for the World Bank to get out of bed with Big Oil and address the harms they have already caused to communities around the world. Even the Bank’s climate commitments are empty words when a climate denier sits at its head. David Malpass is yet another barrier to climate action and an international liability – he must be immediately removed.”
Sophie Richmond, Big Shift Global Coalition, said, “There have been protests throughout this week demonstrating the desire for change and action on climate. The UN Secretary General, this week, described how Multilateral Development Banks should phase out all direct and indirect finance for fossil fuels. The World Bank cannot keep dragging its feet. The Bank has committed to the Paris Agreement, now we need to see that translated into action. Continuing to fund fossil fuels are at complete odds to this commitment and the climate emergency.”
Mark Moreno Pascual, finance campaigner for Recourse, said “The World Bank is putting planet Earth on a carbon lockdown. So long as the Bank keeps injecting billions in support of fossil fuels whether directly or indirectly, there is no future in sight for a renewable energy economy.”
Kyle Ash, Bank Information Center, said, “The World Bank cannot both align with the Paris climate agreement and make investments that make the climate crisis worse. The Bank must be transparent about how it is ending fossil fuel investments across all lending instruments, including budget support, and it must disclose how it calculates climate co-benefits for investments tagged as ‘climate finance.’”
Leandro Gomez, Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, said: “A just, equitable, green, and inclusive transition is more than replacing one energy source by another. The current energy system, based on fossil sources, is unequal and inequitable. The energy transition has to reduce GHG emissions, but it also has to go beyond emissions reductions. DFIs, such as the WBG and the IMF, not only limited its focus on the energy replacement, but also sustains a narrative of gas as a bridge energy, supporting fracking projects despite its environmental, social and climate negative effects. DFIs are losing the opportunity to support the development of an integral and people centered energy transition.”
All eyes are on the World Bank to do more on climate change during its annual meetings, amid controversy over World Bank President David Malpass’s climate change denial. US Secretary Treasury Janet Yellen and ministers from Germany have called on the Bank to prepare a roadmap to transform the way it does business so as to better meet the moment and the urgent actions needed to support countries in addressing climate change.
The World Bank recently estimated that this year’s tragic climate change-fueled floods in Pakistan will force up to fifteen million Pakistanis newly into poverty. Yet Bank president David Malpass recently denied the scientific consensus that fossil fuels are causing the climate crisis.
For more information, visit https://worldbankactionday.org/
Shaye Skiff, Friends of the Earth U.S., [email protected], 202-222-0723
Denise Robbins, Glasgow Actions Team, glasgowactions.com, 608-320-6582