Oxfam reaction: World Bank Energy Sector Directions Paper

Published: 15th July 2013

The World Bank’s board today gave the green light for an energy strategy which will limit its financing of coal-fired power plants to “rare circumstances” reflecting the lender’s increased focus on climate change. The Energy Sector Directions Paper prioritizes helping developing countries find alternatives to coal, and describes universal access to energy as a priority for the bank’s mission to help end poverty.
Nicolas Mombrial, head of Oxfam’s Washington office, said: “In what was a 'make or break' moment for the World Bank's energy strategy, this plan is a victory for Jim Kim’s drive against climate change, and prioritizes the interests of poor people. This shift away from fossil fuels by the world’s largest development finance institution sends a powerful signal for other investors to follow."

Notes to editors
The draft energy strategy, leaked last month, was widely hailed as a balanced approach that sees the World Bank transition away from fossil fuels, towards lower-carbon sustainable energy solutions.

The Bank under Jim Kim's leadership has done a good job of highlighting the link between climate change and poor people, who will feel the worst impacts of climate change. These people have had the least responsibility for the causes of climate change, but their voices and priorities are often neglected. Their interest must be protected, so any transition away from fossil fuels needs to done by maintaining the focus poverty eradication, which the Bank's approach is aiming to do.

Contact information

Caroline Hooper-Box | Media advisor, Oxfam International | Washington, DC | + 1 202 496 1173 / 321 2967 | skype: caroline.hooper.box