World Bank financing fossil fuel-related projects, while calling to end subsidies — report

The World Bank provided last year funding of $3.4bn for fossil fuel-related projects, despite repeated calls by its president to eliminate such “harmful” global subsidies, a report released Friday shows.

In the study, the Oil Change International (OCI) claims the bank offered loans, grants, guarantees, risk management and equity for fossil fuel-related projects for the 2013-14 financial year.

The billionaire figure is the highest recorded in four years, adds the report, and up 23% on the year before, though the bank said it disagreed with combining in both direct and indirect funding.

The report comes only months before Paris hosts the United Nations climate change conference, known as COP21, aimed at achieving a binding, universal and international agreement on climate for the first time in more than 20 years of UN negotiations.

It coincides with France’s endorsement Friday of an eight-nation call for fossil fuel reform. The group — made up of Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland — accuses subsidies such as the World Bank’s of harming the environment and economic development and favouring wealthier families, who use more energy.

Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies would reduce the world's greenhouse emissions by 6% to 13% by 2050, they claim.