World Bank Group exits from upstream oil investments

The World Bank Group will no longer finance upstream oil and gas (exploration & production-E&P) after 2019. $280 billion is the worth of the upstream oil and gas portfolio across the World Bank Group (WBG consists of 4 institutions).

However, in exceptional circumstances, the WBG says it will consider financing upstream natural gas in the poorest countries where there is a clear benefit in terms of energy access for the poor, and if the project fits within the country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. In 2017 alone  $4.4 billion, out of its total lending of $22.6 billion, went to energy and extractive industries

The WBG raises the bar for climate leadership with this and several other measures announced at the One Planet Summit being held in Paris.

The only problem I see is that the WBG investments also came with anti corruption and national transparency measures.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) began in 2003 with the mission to bring transparency to the revenue process in an effort to hold companies and governments accountable for paying, or collecting, the correct amount of natural resource royalties.  This transparency has helped to uncover inconsistencies between payments due and actual payments made.  The World Bank´s Multi-Donor Trust Fund (EITI MDTF), established in 2004 as a global partner to EITI, has supported and funded of over $67 million to facilitate the successful implementation of the E!TI Standard.   Will this support now stop?

Author: Dr. Nirmal Shah

Nirmal is a well-known and a passionate personality in the Seychelles environmental and sustainability scene having an encyclopedic knowledge of Seychelles biodiversity as well as a wealth of experience in environment management. He has worked in senior positions in the parastatal, government, private and NGO sectors and consulted for international organizations such as the World Bank, IUCN, UNEP, Sida and UNESCO. He has appeared on CNN, BBC, Radio France, PBS, NBC, ABC, SABC and others

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