World Bank Announce End Of Financial Support For Oil Exploration

The World Bank has announced plans to end financing for upstream oil and gas after 2019 citing threat posed by climate change.

Campaigners opposed to fossil fuels were delighted by the Banks statement which was announced at the One Planet Summit in France.

The Bank which stated that it saw the need to change the way it was operating in a rapidly changing world, said that it “will no longer finance upstream oil and gas” after 2019.

It added that it was on course to have 28 percent of its lending going to climate action by 2020. Presently, 1-2percent of the Bank’s $280 billion portfolio is accounted for by oil and gas projects.

The Bank has since 2010 ceased lending for coal-fired power stations and has been under pressure from lobby groups to also end the $1 billion yearly lending for oil and gas in developing countries.

However, in exceptional circumstances, the Bank said it would consider lending for oil and gas projects in the very poorest countries but only where it helped the poor get access to energy and the project did not conflict with commitments to reduce greenhouse gases made in the 2015 Paris climate change accord.

Following this development, experts have further reinforced calls for oil dependent counties to transform the management of the sectors operations, harping on the need to cut down emissions, particularly gas flaring and diversification of such economies.

“It is time for all of the countries, institutions, investors and companies involved in the oil exploration value chain to strictly enforce an end to gas flaring and other anti-environment practices in the sector, or prepare for a more restrictive operating environment occasioned by increased opposition,” said an energy analyst.
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