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Research Papers

This report examines MDB spending on fossil fuels and renewable energy projects in 2020. Whilst it shows an increase in spending on renewable energy and a drop in financing for fossil fuels in the period 2018-2020 , more than $3 billion was still directed by MDBs to fossil fuel projects in 2020 alone. Download the report to read more.

This report by Oil Change International and Friends of the Earth US finds that since the Paris Agreement, G20 countries have acted directly counter to it by providing at least USD 77 billion a year in finance for oil, gas, and coal projects through their public finance institutions. 

A recent review of WBG´s operations in Nigeria detailed in a new report by Recourse, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access (ACSEA) found that overall the WBG’s energy sector assistance in Nigeria undermines the Paris Climate Agreement goals and falls short in what is necessary to meet Nigeria’s energy access goals.

Public and development banks have an obligation to align their own bank activities with the Paris Agreement, in addition to a broader responsibility to transform economies toward alignment with the Paris Agreement.

As the World Bank conducts its virtual 2020 Annual Meeting, civil society groups criticize the bank’s ongoing investments in the fossil fuel industry.

This report from Bank Information Centre Europe, Inclusive Development International, and JATAM Indonesia exposes the World Bank's financing of some of Indonesia’s most destructive coal mining companies, despite instituting a virtual ban on coal financing in 2013.

This report ranks the policies of the major MDBs against the Big Shift aims of shifting all finance out of fossil fuels and into sustainable renewable energy for energy access. Whilst some Banks are doing better than others, and some have the potential to be real leaders, all the MDBs need to be taking much bigger action to achieve their goals of stopping climate change and ending poverty.

Over 100 civil society organisations call on the World Bank to stop funding fossil fuels and shift investment to sustainable renewable energy for energy access. 

This report from the World Resources Institute, GermanWatch, New Climate Institute and Fundacion Avina provides a snapshot of the MDBs' climate finance alignment with the Paris Agreement, examining how the MDBs support enhancement of MDBs, how the MDBs are mainstreaming climate adaptation and resilience across their investments, and how transparent the MDBs are about their climate related activ

At the World Bank Group meetings this year, we call on them to further step-up and implement existing commitments by scaling up energy access finance, fully implementing existing commitments around carbon pricing and phasing out upstream oil and gas. 

This document by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and BIC Europe examines the degree to which the WBG’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) effectively addresses the dual objective of increasing energy access for the poor while meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

G7 countries are in the early stages of an energy transition – including, in some areas, a shift away from the production and consumption of fossil fuels. In acknowledgement of this, every year since 2009 the G7, and G20, have committed to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies, along with related commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement.

This report from Inclusive Development International, Bank Information Center Europe, and Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, highlights the expansion of coal power in the Philippines, funded by the IFC.

This report from Bank Information Center Europe and Inclusive Development International argues that the AIIB has an opportunity to assume leadership amongst the MDBs in promoting low carbon development. It provides recommendations on how the AIIB can live up to its promises to be “green” and to its stated commitment to the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

This report from Oil Change International assesses the contribution of 4 MDBs to energy access between 2014 and 2017 and finds that whist the majority of energy access finance is being channelled to countries with the largest access gaps, MDBs are not channelling enough of their energy access finance to energy access for the poorest people, or prioritising energy access sufficiently. 

This report by Tearfund examines the role of multinational development banks in redesigning electricity markets to scale up finance for off-grid renewable energy. This paper explores the idea that subsidies and cross-subsidies could be used to improve the viability of electricity access investments in more remote regions, and highlights the role that MDBs have to play in developing these soluti

This report from Bank Information Center Europe and Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations analyses whether the IFC has reduced its investments in higher-risk FIs.

This report from Bank Information Center Europe, Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, and Inclusive Development International looks at the recent AIIB investment in the IFC Emerging Asia Fund - a financial intermediary - and its sub-investment in the Shwe Taung Cement Company in Myanmar towards the expansion of a cement plant and associated coal mine.

This report by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) indicates that countries are still financing more coal than renewables projects abroad. Some progress has been made in shifting flows away from dirty energy like coal and into clean energy projects like solar and wind, but more needs to be done.

This report by Oil Change International, Friends of the Earth U.S., and WWF’s European Policy Office reveals how export credit agencies around the world are funding climate disaster by financing over $32 billion dollars each year in coal, oil, and gas projects.

This report reviews subsidies to coal in 10 countries that produce 84% of Europe’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions: France, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK). In 2016, all ten countries reviewed still provided some form of subsidy to coal, in the form of budgetary support or tax breaks.

This paper from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and BIC Europe examines the approach put forward in the WBG’s Energy Directions Paper (ED Paper) to determine if more could be done by the WBG to improve progress towards the SEforAll goals.  

Under the Paris Agreement, European governments and the European Union are committed to a low-carbon transition. However, this study shows that governments in Europe and the EU continue to subsidise a reliance on oil, gas and coal, fuelling dangerous climate change with taxpayers’ money both at home and abroad, and this may be stalling Europe's energy transition. 

This report from Inclusive Development International, Bank Information Center Europe, and Center for Financial Accountability highlights the role of the World Bank and international investors in financing the Rampal Power Plant, and highlights the significant risks associated with this project.

This report by Oil Change International, Friends of the Earth US and WWF highlights the role that G20 countries' Export Credit Agencies are playing in financing oil and gas projects, and recommends that Export Credit Agencies improve disclosure of fossil fuel related transactions and phase out support for fossil fuels by 2020.

A report by Both ENDS concludes that the Dutch Export credit agency Atradius DSB, which provides export insurances on behalf of the Dutch state, insured fossil fuel-related projects with a total value of € 7.3 billion in the period 2012-2015. This is two-thirds of its total insured value for that same period.

This report from Inclusive Development International demonstrates how the IFC is funding coal through support for commercial banks and private equity funds. According to this research, IFC-supported financial institutions have funded at least 41 new coal projects – either the facilities directly or the companies that own them – since the World Bank announced its coal ban in 2013.