We create climate solutions that accelerate sustainable development, spur economic growth and fight poverty
The World Bank has helped reduce global energy poverty, but often with a big carbon footprint. Climate Advisers calculated that shifting World Bank energy lending from coal to renewables and energy efficiency would reduce emissions by 250 million tons of carbon per year through 2030 – and inspire other investors to take similar action with even larger climate dividends.
In 2011, climate advocates tried unsuccessfully to convince the World Bank to stop financing coal projects. Developing nations refused so long as developed nations continued to build new coal plants themselves and progress seemed unlikely.
The Climate Advisers analysis not only emboldened climate champions to push harder, but also helped depoliticize international negotiations by shifting the terms of the debate. In July 2013, the World Bank announced it would cut off almost all funding for new coal plants in middle-income countries around the world.
Fortunately, the two goals of ending energy poverty and protecting the Earth’s climate are compatible: ending energy poverty with this smart mix of energy sources and policies would only increase carbon dioxide emissions by 0.7 percent in 2030.