A new report published Tuesday shows that the World Bank lent billions of dollars to the fossil fuel industry last year despite its repeated promises to focus more on a low-carbon economy.
Research done by German environmental and human rights nonprofit Urzwald It turns out the bank spent an estimated $3.7 billion to finance oil and gas projects in 2022. The money was reportedly transferred through a special channel of funding aimed at facilitating global transactions and was possibly going towards oil and gas development.
This financing comes in the wake of a pledge made by the World Bank in 2017 to largely phase out financing of upstream oil and gas projects after 2019. To align with the goals of the Paris climate agreement, the World Bank should end its friendly fossil fuel policies and stop financing these types of projects, said study author Heike Meinhardt.
“There is no longer any excuse no public assistance should be used to finance or promote fossil fuel development,” Meinhardt said. “Yet the World Bank is still using its public money to bring billions of dollars into fossil fuel investments, including coal.”
The bank has targeted energy tariff reforms in 29 countries, and believes many of these tariff increases have benefited fossil fuel investments, the research said. Meinhardt claims that the World Bank’s policy reforms also included tax breaks and higher electricity tariffs in places such as Colombia, Egypt, Pakistan, Romania and Ukraine, which ultimately resulted in greater profits for the fossil fuel industry.
“When the World Bank aims to reform energy tariffs, it usually involves raising tariffs under the banner of reducing energy subsidies,” he wrote. “However, these tariff increases typically increase profit margins for new coal and/or gas power plants or new oil and gas field development.”
Another recent study published in Future of Energy Policy shows that greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are continuing to rise due to increased burning of fossil fuels. And studies suggest that human-induced climate change could lead to the premature deaths of nearly 1 billion people over the next century.
“If you take the scientific consensus of the 1,000-ton rule seriously and run the numbers, anthropogenic global warming will be the equivalent of a billion premature bodies over the next century. Obviously, we have to act. And we have to act fast.” will be.” Joshua Pierce, one of the study authors.
The “1,000 ton rule” suggests that every 1,000 tons of fossil carbon burned can cause approximately one premature death.