Bretton Woods Project environmental advocacy

Monitoring the implementation of the World Bank’s climate commitments

At the One Planet Summit in 2017, the World Bank Group announced a series of climate commitments, including that it would phase out project lending for ‘upstream’ oil and gas by the end of 2019, begin tracking the greenhouse gas emissions of WBG projects in key sectors, and introduce a shadow carbon price to inform the economic analysis of its projects. The Bank also announced that it would develop a post-2020 set of climate goals, which it followed through on at COP24 in December 2018, with the launch of its 2025 climate targets. It also announced that – together with eight other MDBs – it will develop a framework to align its activities with the Paris Agreement.

As part of wider civil society efforts to reform the Bank’s role as a major financier of fossil fuels projects and associated infrastructure, the Bretton Woods Project actively monitors the implementation of these commitments, in order to critically assess the Bank’s role in enabling the zero-carbon transition required to avert catastrophic climate change. The Project seeks to highlight relevant developments in its flagship quarterly publication, the Observer, as well as to allow its monitoring activities to inform the wider climate advocacy efforts undertaken by the Project and its partners.

Relevant publications related to the Project’s climate advocacy are listed below. For more information, please contact BWP Environment Project Manager Jon Sward at



Low-carbon infrastructure, sustainable finance, and people-focused development: The role of multilateral development banks, July 2019.



World Bank and IMF lend support to mega-gas project in Mozambique, undeterred by growing risks, Observer Autumn 2020.

CSOs raise concerns about conflict of interest related to World Bank technical assistance loan in Guyana, Observer Summer 2020.

World Bank must ensure new Africa energy strategy is inclusive and pro-poor, Observer Summer 2020.

Ghana’s Sankofa gas project – backed by World Bank – brings fiscal pain, Observer Spring 2020.

EIB rules out most fossil fuel funding from 2021, setting new benchmark for MDBs, Observer Winter 2019.

Links between Amazon deforestation and World Bank exposed, Observer Autumn 2019.

IFC’s Green Equity Strategy faces set-back at Board, Observer Summer 2019.

Despite new 2025 climate targets, World Bank’s Paris Agreement alignment remains work in progress, Observer Spring 2019.

As climate crisis bites, World Bank further distances itself from coal, Observer Winter 2018.

Carbon finance: The role of the World Bank in carbon trading market, Observer Autumn 2018.

Warming of Ethiopia-Eritrea relations puts proposed LAPSSET mega-project under microscope, Observer Autumn 2018.

World Bank DPL paves way for offshore drilling in Guyana, despite CSO concerns, Observer Summer 2018.

As World Bank signals end of extraction finance, CSOs call for end to its other fossil fuel funding, Observer Spring 2018.


Related resources

Open letter to the World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors: WBG climate commitments & the appointment of the new World Bank Group president, March 2019.

Civil society wish-list for World Bank post-2020 climate goals, September 2018.