Follows Senator Markey’s letter to David Malpass, former World Bank president

Letter Text (PDF)

Washington (April 17, 2024) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety today led a letter with Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) to World Bank President Ajay Banga urging the World Bank to stop fossil fuel financing and increase climate investment, a step Senator Markey and his colleagues initially called for last February.

The letter also asks the World Bank to increase transparency in financing decisions and to engage meaningfully with developing countries in all activities relevant to loss and damage, which is temporarily housed in the World Bank. As the 2024 World Bank Spring Meetings begin, the World Bank still has not publicly committed to ending fossil fuel financing, which risks further fueling the climate crisis and reducing available capacity for the Bank to support developing countries’ clean development and adaptation efforts.

In their letter to the World Bank, the members wrote, “While the World Bank committed to align its financial flows with the goals of the Paris Agreement in its Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025, the Bank provided an average of $1.2 billion annually between 2020 and 2022 in direct fossil fuel finance. Although direct financing for fossil fuels has decreased over time, the Bank continues to provide indirect financing for fossil fuel projects through financial intermediaries, as well as technical assistance, policy-based operations, and trade finance.”

The lawmakers continued, “The Bank’s direct and indirect support for fossil fuel projects supercharges the climate crisis while decreasing lending capacity, leverage capital, and availability of climate financing for developing countries. The Bank must provide more transparency in fossil-fuel-project financing decision-making, including making its process public, in order for there to be needed accountability.”

In February 2023, Senator Markey led a letter to the World Bank’s former president David Malpass and its Board of Directors asking for new leadership that will take climate action, end fossil fuel financing, and better support low-income countries through grants and other financial mechanisms. In December 2023, Senator Markey wrote a follow up letter urging the Biden administration to meet its Glasgow Statement pledge to end all international public financing of unabated fossil fuel projects and provide public plan for how to meet this goal.