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Press release

Embargoed until 00:01, GMT, Thursday November 2nd, 2017

Christian Aid challenges World Bank Group claims over clean energy credentials

Responding to the expected announcement by the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group, on how it is helping developing countries meet their climate targets, Fran Witt, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Advisor, said:

“Despite aiming to  champion clean energy, the World Bank Group  actually continues to finance large volumes of dirty energy projects which are driving climate change around the world.

“If developing countries are to  meet their climate targets the World Bank Group needs to stop funding billions in fossil fuel infrastructure. It is staggering that even after the Paris Agreement the group is still investing most of its energy portfolio in dirty energy.

“Through the back door, the World Bank Group is still supporting the funding of a new generation of coal-fired power plants, because of lack of sufficient prior conditions on its development policy loans, and via support through financial intermediaries, which continue to invest heavily in coal, rather than shifting to renewables.

“If the World Bank Group is serious about unlocking the trillions of climate finance needed to support developing countries achieve their climate targets it must lead the way by phasing out all its finance for fossil fuels by 2020 and significantly increase finance for renewable energy and energy access.  It should use its leverage to encourage countries to adopt low carbon models of development.

"The shift to renewable energy has not been fast enough. To achieve the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 C, it is imperative that the World Bank Group put its money where its mouth is and stop funding fossil fuels.”

For more information contact Joe Ware on jware@christian-aid.org or call him +447870944485.  

Notes to editors

“The WBG had the second-largest volume of energy finance among the MDBs for the period, totaling nearly $33 billion. Annually, WBG energy finance ranged from $8.6 billion to $12.5 billion. The WBG increased its fossil fuel finance significantly in 2016 – at $4.7 billion, this amount represents a doubling of its 2015 fossil fuel finance. In comparison, at $3 billion in 2016, WBG clean energy finance remained significantly lower than its fossil fuel finance”. Source: http://priceofoil.org/content/uploads/2017/10/Cross_Purposes_MDB_Finance_Briefing.pdf

Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended:  this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change (http://www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf) explains how we set about this task.

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