Billions of dollars of public money was sunk in new fossil fuel projects by the world’s major development banks in the year after the Paris climate change deal was agreed, according to campaigners who are calling for the banks to halt their financing of coal, oil and gas.
The new analysis also reveals that some of the taxpayers’ money given to coal and gas projects was counted as “climate” finance.
Funding for fossil fuel projects from the six main international development banks totalled at least $5bn in 2016, according to a report from researchers at Oil Change International (OCI).
In particular, OCI estimate the funding for exploration for new oil and gas more than doubled in 2016, to $2.1bn. Funding for clean energy also grew by more than a third, to $11.4bn.
A second report from analysts at E3G suggests that in recent years the World Bank and European Bank for Development and Reconstruction (EBRD) have given similar levels of funding to fossil fuels as to climate-friendly energy projects.
“Despite the Paris Agreement being reached, multilateral development banks that say all the right things on climate are still financing billions of dollars in oil, gas, and coal projects,” said Alex Doukas at Oil Change International. “They are using relatively scarce public resources that need to be used as strategically as possible if we have a hope of meeting the agreement’s aims. If they really want to help lift people out of poverty, taxpayer-funded banks can no longer finance climate destruction. They must stop funding fossil fuels.”
Helena Wright at E3G said: “Development banks must do more to green their investments. As a first step, the banks should commit to ending finance for fossil fuel exploration. Obviously exploration for new resources is not in line with the Paris goals – we have got enough fossil fuels already to go over 2C of warming.”
Scientists showed in 2015 that to keep under the internationally agreed 2C warming limit,…