World Bank Group to stop upstream oil and gas financing after 2019

The World Bank Group (WBG) has reported it plans to stop financing upstream oil and gas projects in developing countries to help implement the 2016 Paris climate agreement’s goals.


Exceptions will be considered where there is a clear energy access benefit for the poor and the project fits within the countries’ Paris agreement commitments, it said on the 12th December during the One Planet Summit in Paris.


Current projects in its portfolio will continue as planned, WBG said. “For those countries with oil and gas resources, commercial financing is often readily available for exploration and production,” it said. “In exceptional circumstances in the poorest countries where there is a benefit to energy access, the World Bank Group will consider upstream natural gas projects.”


Support and financing will continue for midstream and downstream gas investments for transportation and distribution to end-users and for electric power generation, the WBG said.


“In some countries, gas still plays an important role during the energy transition,” it noted.


“Gas has the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any fossil fuel. We support natural gas as a flexible energy source which can help countries make the transition more quickly to renewables, expand access to energy for the poor, and displace carbon-intensive coal,” WBG said.