The World Bank Group (WBG) has announced that they will stop funding and financing projects that have anything to do with fossil fuels like oil and gas, starting 2019. This announcement was made at the One Planet Summit in Paris.
According to the World Bank press release, there were a number of major announcements that were made, all of them around the issue of climate change and global warming. The statement read, "To transform its own operations in recognition of a rapidly changing world and to align its support to countries to meet their Paris goals, the World Bank Group will no longer finance upstream oil and gas, after 2019."
An exception was also mentioned in which the World Bank would continue to finance the poorest countries where access to sources of energy can be seen as a clear benefit, as long as the country's projects are in accordance with the Paris accords.
The release also mentioned that their goal of lending 28% of its money towards climate action by 2020 is also on track. The WBG's Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), that was put together based on the Paris Agreement, will also be met, they added. This climate action plan was first announced by the bank in 2015, according to Science Alert (SA).
SA noted that the economic advantages of supporting renewable energy and projects dedicated to it are attractive enough for countries to actually switch to them. This is being seen as a blow for the fossil fuel industry, noted the report.
Since countries are submitting and updating more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are efforts by countries to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change, the WBG will also announce new commitments and set higher targets beyond 2020, they said. This will be announced at the COP24 (United Nation's climate change conference) that will be held in Poland next year.
Starting next year, the WBG will release reports on greenhouse gas emissions from the projects it finances, especially in sectors like energy. The reports will start getting published starting late 2018, said the WBG.
The One Earth Summit was organised by French President Emmanuel Macron on the second-year anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, in which countries had signed and agreed to do their part in controlling emissions and working towards keeping the rise in global temperatures in check by the end of this century.
Every single country on the planet, including Syria and North Korea, have agreed and signed the agreement, except the US.
US President Donald Trump withdrew from the accords as he felt that the agreement was blocking the development of clean coal in America. He said, "As someone who cares deeply about the environment, I cannot in good conscience support [the accords]."