World Bank Group pledges to stop investing in oil and gas exploration

One of the world’s most important financial and development institutions, the World Bank Group (WBG), is to stop financing oil and gas exploration, in a bid to help combat climate change.

After 2019, the WBG – which includes the World Bank and three other institutions – will stop investing in upstream oil and gas, it announced at the One Planet Summit in Paris on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. This moves marks a major change in strategy for the WBG. WBG has historically sought to support extraction of natural resources, such as gas, oil and minerals in developing nations, in order to tackle corruption and exploitation, through proper governance.

The World Bank currently holds $961 million of guarantee operations, set up to support private sector investments in gas and oil explorations. Upstream oil and gas constitute 2 % of the WBG portfolio. Across the World Bank Group institutions, the total portfolio is worth around $280 billion.

The summit was hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron, with 164 world leaders, government members, business leaders and prominent figures joining him at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris.

Comment regarding the heat pump area

This is good news for renewable energy in general, including heat pumps. One of the barriers for renewable heating and cooling are subsidies and investments in fossil energy, as is often pointed out.