Climate activist groups including Urgewald and Friends of the Earth have staged protests at the World Bank’s October 10 to 16 annual meetings over its continued financing of fossil fuel projects.
The demonstration included art pieces depicting the alleged close relationship between The World Bank and “Big Oil” in light of a recent report compiled by an NGO coalition which stated the World Bank had provided $14.8 billion in direct finance to fossil fuels since the inception of the Paris Agreement in 2015.
Ute Koczy, multilateral development banks campaigner at Urgewald, said, “The motto of the Bank ‘to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in a sustainable way’ will remain wishful thinking until the World Bank Group makes good on its Paris commitments and stops financing fossil fuels decisively and completely.”
“If the World Bank wants to address global poverty and a looming recession, the best way is to inject billions, possibly trillions, into the clean energy economy,” suggested Director of the Glasgow Actions Team, Andrew Nazdin.
Friends of the Earth further argued that World Bank president David Malpass has continuously denied the “scientific consensus that fossil fuels are causing the climate crisis.”
Luisa Abbott Galvao, senior international policy campaigner for Friends of the Earth U.S., described Malpass as “yet another barrier to climate action and an international liability” and demanded his immediate removal from his position.
In September, Malpass faced widespread calls for his dismissal following a public appearance where he would not say whether he accepted that man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions had created a worsening crisis that is already leading to more extreme weather. He later moved to clarify his views stating he accepted the overwhelming scientific conclusion that human activity is warming the planet.
The World Bank Group involves a partnership of five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.