The World Bank Group announced this week that it will stop financing oil and gas exploration projects starting in 2019.
In a statement issued at the One Planet Summit in Paris, the Bank said it will only consider funding upstream gas in nations where “there is a clear benefit in terms of energy access for the poor and the project fits within the countries’ Paris Agreement commitments”.
The summit was hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee presidential palace with 164 world leaders and business figures in attendance.
As part of its efforts to combat climate change, the World Bank Group also vowed to ensure that environmental accountability is maintained across its own operations.
Beginning in 2018, it said it will report greenhouse gas emissions from the investment projects it finances in high-emissions sectors, such as energy. The first results will be made public late next year, with annual audits to be published annually thereafter.
The Bank claims it is on track to have 28% of its lending dedicated toward climate action initiatives by the end of the decade.
An estimated 2% of the Bank’s existing $280bn lending portfolio is made up of oil and gas projects.