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Letter to World Bank President and Executive Directors calling for more action on climate change

18 October 2019 

Mr. David Malpass, President, World Bank Group,   1818 H St., NW Washington, DC 20433 

Dear President Malpass: 
The signs of the unfolding climate emergency are evident: record-breaking forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado biomes; ice-melt in the Arctic; devastating flooding in Mozambique and South Asia; and unprecedented and deadly heatwaves across Europe in just the past year.  
World leaders and institutions have a responsibility to act now to stop the climate catastrophe. Instead of helping countries make the transition out of fossil fuels, the World Bank Group (WBG), from 2014 to 2018 alone, has facilitated fossil fuel development in 45 countries, either through project finance or development policy finance and technical assistance according to data gathered by environmental group, urgewald, from the World Bank website. 
During this period, the WBG provided over $12 billion in project finance for 88 fossil fuel projects in 38 countries. In addition, the WBG assisted the development of fossil fuels through policy programs in at least 28 countries, including the development of coal in six countries.  
Given this reality, plus the fundamental threat that climate change poses to the Bank’s mission, we call on the World Bank to play a leading role among MDBs by committing to end all support for fossil fuels by the end of 2020, and signal the immediate shift to a carbonneutral world that is necessary to stabilize the global climate. This shift should be accompanied by increased investments in renewable energy access, particularly in SubSaharan Africa and South Asia, where access rates to electricity and clean cooking remain low. 
Specifically, we call on the World Bank to: 
Phase out lending for all fossil fuels after 2020, including lending for ‘associated facilities’ for fossil fuel projects.  

Require all IFC financial intermediaries to divest from all fossil fuels, not just coal, through adopting a robust final version of the IFC’s proposed Green Equity Approach which ends all fossil fuel investments as soon as possible.

Devote at least 40% of finance to climate by 2020, to match or exceed targets set by peer institutions such as the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).  

Develop a strategy roadmap to mainstream off-grid renewable energy into its energy portfolio, and significantly ramp up public and private finance and policy and technical support for this, to meet demand and achieve energy access for all by 2030.  
Support calls for an automatic funding mechanism, including debt relief, through the UNFCCC to assist countries confronted with loss and damage because of climate disasters.

Adhere to the UN Declaration on Human Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, specifically pertaining to Free, Prior and Informed Consent. The World Bank must respect and listen to the voices of communities affected by development projects and programs that the Bank is financing.

Prioritize recycling, re-use, substitution, energy efficiency, reduced consumption and a circular economy over facilitation of new mineral mining.

Prepare a strategy for all multilateral institutions to fund activities that reduce global warming and increase biodiversity. 
The World Bank Group has been a major supporter of fossil fuel projects since its establishment. As it marks its 75th anniversary, the Bank has a responsibility to respond to the climate emergency by unequivocally ending support for fossil fuel-based development. The World Bank must also encourage other public finance institutions, the private sector, and markets to take steps immediately to halt global warming and replenish biodiversity.  
We look forward to your prompt action to demonstrate the Bank’s leadership in confronting this epochal threat to life on Earth. 

14 Poles Productions Inc.
350 Spokane
Abibiman Foundation
ActionAid International
African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access ACSEA
Amazon Watch
Anthropocene Alliance
Arab Watch Regional Coalition
Association Des 3 Herissons
Association for the protection of the environment and sustainable development of Bizerte (APEDDUB) Tunisia
Bank Information Center
Bank Information Center Europe
Bayansharga NGO
Bayarsaikhan Namsrai
Bio Vision Africa
Bretton Woods Project, UK
BRICS Feminist Watch
CAN International
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Centre for Human Rights and Development
Christian Aid
Citizens' Climate Lobby
CLEAN (Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network)
Climate and Health Alliance
Climate Change Network Nigeria
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice
Divest Invest Protect
Durable (PNASC-CED) du Mali
Earth Ethics, Inc.
Ecological Christian Organisation (ECO)
Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines
Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization (EEECHO)
Elders Climate Action
Environmental Protection Society Malaysia
Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria.
Foundation for Environmental Management and Campaign Against Poverty
Freedom From Debt Coalition
Fridays For Future
Fridays For Future USA
Friends of the Earth Japan
Friends of the Earth US
Gemeingut in Bürgerinnenhand (GiB) e.V.
Gender Action
Global Rights
Government Citizen Partnership NGO
Health Care Without Harm
Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah
Heinrich Böll Stiftung Washington, DC
Hip Hop Caucus
Institute for Policy Studies- Global Economy Project
Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA)
International Rivers
Jail and Prison Rehabilitation Information Community Outreach Program
Jamaa Resource Initiatives
Kwataniza Wimen Farmers Group
LGBT Centre
Lumiere Synergie pour le Developpement
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Michigan Interfaith Power & Light
Nadi Ghati Morcha-India
National Center Against Violence
Natural Resources Defense Council
NGO Forum on ADB
Nuclear Information and Resource Service (anti-nuclear NGO)
Occupy Bergen County (NJ)
Oil Change International
Oyu Tolgoi Watch
Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)
Partnership for Earth Spirituality
Presbyterian Church (USA), Office of Public Witness
Progressive Democrats Of America
Progressive Democrats Of America- California
Rachel Carson Council
Save Lamu
Sierra Leone Consortium for Climate Change and Sustainable Development (SLeCCSuD)
South Carolina Interfaith Power and Light
Sri Lanka Nature Group
Sustainable Energy & Economy Network
Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact
The Climate Mobilization
The Imani Group
The Oakland Institute
The People’s Justice Council (The PJC)
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
urgewald (Germany)
Utah Moms for Clean Air
Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment
War on Want
We Women Lanka
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)
Youth For Environment Education And Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation)
Zo Indigenous Forum

Cc: World Bank Executive Directors

Hervé de Villeroché
DJ Nordquist  
Richard Montgomery  
Yingming Yang  
Masanori Yoshida  
Juergen Zattler  
Hesham Fahad Alogeel  
Jorge Alexjandro Chavez Presa  
Koen Davidse,
Adrian Fernandez  
Werner Gruber,
Geir H. Haarde  
Merza Hasan  
Kunil Hwang  
Anne Kabagambe  
Fabio Kanczuk  
Roman Marshavin  
Patrizio Pagano  
Guenther Schoenleitner  
Aparna Subramani  
Kulaya Tantitemit  
Shahid Ashraf Tarar  
Jean-Claude Tchatchouang