In December 2018, the World Bank, the international financial institution known for providing financing and policy advice to developing countries, pledged to bring its spending closer to the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
However, that promise was not fully fulfilled. The World Bank Group has since funded nearly $15 billion in 144 fossil fuel projects and policies, many of which are already experiencing the most dire consequences of climate change, according to a new report. is taking place in the area of
The report, from Big Shift Global, a coalition of NGOs working to bring transparency to global energy investments, analyzed public data from Oil Change International’s Public Finance for Energy database. Net new investment from the World Bank Group from FY2018 to FY2021 was found to be approximately $14.8 billion.
“There is no excuse to build new fossil fuel projects,” said Elaine Zuckerman, who left the World Bank in the 1990s to hold the group accountable for the gender and climate implications of its decisions. Her organization Gender Her Action is a member of The Big Shift Her Global and a contributor to the report.
About a quarter of the $14.8 billion identified in the report relates to just 10 World Bank-funded projects, the most costly of which is the Trans-Anatolian pipeline. The natural gas pipeline, which stretches around 1,150 miles across Turkey, is expected to deliver 16 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Azerbaijan to Europe. This is more than three times his current annual export volume from Azerbaijan.
Before making the $1.1 billion investment, the authorities conducted an environmental and social impact study to confirm that the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline will have “unprecedented” and “irreversible” impacts on water quality, air quality, and worker health and safety. warned of possible social and environmental impacts. The investment was still greenlit.
This report is not the first time the World Bank has faced environmental challenges. The World Bank Group, whose mission is to end extreme poverty, has faced multiple controversies for ignoring the rights of indigenous peoples and manipulating data to boost China’s climate rankings. I’m here. Just last week, current World Bank President David Malpass was accused of hesitating to ask whether human-related greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change. I’m not a scientist,” Trump’s appointee told a New York Times reporter. Malpass has since apologized.
Job creation is cited as the main benefit of several of the projects featured in the report, but when fossil fuel projects begin construction, communities will see fewer economic benefits and less social and environmental benefits. Zuckerman says the impact is often large.
“My view, based on over 40 years of experience at the World Bank, is that the biggest beneficiaries of World Bank lending are these very large companies, often multinationals.” she said.
Energy and environmental economist Jim Barrett, who consulted with the World Bank in 2021, says that from a strategic perspective, clean energy projects are better than fossil fuel projects and a cheaper means of creating jobs. increase.
He said it doesn’t matter if investing in fossil fuels creates jobs. “There will definitely be jobs. The question is, is there a better, more productive way to invest $1 million in developing countries? And the answer is yes.”
A World Bank Group spokesperson told Grist: In fiscal 2022, the World Bank Group provided a record $31.7 billion in climate-related investments, helping communities around the world respond to the climate crisis and build a safer, cleaner future. “
But the report’s authors argue that these investments could lock communities and economies into a fossil fuel-dependent future. clear. “This week, leaders of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will meet in Washington, DC to discuss a range of investment issues going forward.