The World Bank has announced that it will no longer finance oil and gas exploration from 2019 and it will begin reporting greenhouse gas emissions from its other investment projects. The commitment was made at the One Planet climate summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Tuesday. The summit, timed to coincide with the second anniversary of the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, brought together 50 heads of state and 4,000 other participants as well as 800 organisations. Macron told attendees that the global community is “losing the battle” against rising CO2 levels and urged countries to do more to fulfil the commitments they made in 2015 to keep global warming well below two degrees celsius.
Other measures announced at the summit include a five-year initiative by a group of 237 companies to put pressure on the 100 largest greenhouse gas producers to cut their emissions. Another coalition of some 20 companies and 26 states was formed with the aim of working to phase out the use of coal in wealthy countries by 2030 and in the rest of the world by 2050.
The European Commission pledged 9 billion euros of investments focused on sustainable cities, clean energy and sustainable agriculture for Africa and EU neighbourhood countries.
US President Donald Trump, who pulled America out of the Paris Accord was not invited to the event, however it was attended by Governor Jerry Brown of California and former Secretary of State John Kerry. “We have 38 states that have renewable portfolio standard laws,” Kerry told journalists. “We have 90 cities, the major cities in America, their mayors all committed to meeting Paris. So 80 percent of the population of America is in those 38 states that are committed, and we are going to stay on track.”
The day before the One Planet summit President Macron awarded research grants to 18 climate scientists, 13 of them from the US, fulfilling a pledge he made earlier in the year to invite climate researchers to France to work towards the goal of “making the planet great again.”