In a blow to the fossil fuel industry, the World Bank—which provides loans to developing countries to foster economic growth—announced that it will no longer offer financial support for oil and gas exploration after 2019.
Citing a need to change in a “rapidly changing world,” the Bank’s statement on fossil fuel financing suggests that it is on course to achieve its goal to have 28% of its portfolio dedicated to climate action by 2020.
This is yet one more blow to the fossil fuel energy sector, and a big win for environmental advocates. Renewable energy installations are rapidly becoming cheaper to build than to operate and maintain existing fossil fuel power plants, making it increasingly more attractive to switch to renewable energy like solar or wind power.
The World Bank did provide one caveat to their plan to discontinue financing for fossil fuel energy exploration, saying “…financing upstream gas in the poorest countries where there is a clear benefit in terms of energy access for the poor and the project fits within the countries’ Paris Agreement commitments.”