Climate warning
Image of World Bank

World Bank

Climate warning

Bike Protest Urges World Bank to Stop Funding Fossil Fuels


Image of post in post detailed view

Roughly 100 activists marked the opening day of the World Bank Group spring meetings by riding bicycles through the streets of Washington, D.C. on Monday night, calling on incoming bank president Ajay Banga to halt fossil fuel financing and ramp up clean energy and climate justice investments.
While demanding a turnaround on green funding in developing countries, the "Wrong Way on Climate" bike protest blocked rush-hour traffic outside World Bank headquarters as finance ministers traveled to dinner parties and backroom meetings.
"Bikes are very literally people-powered," Hope Neyer, a public health student and organizer with Shutdown D.C., said in a statement. "They're the ultimate zero-emission vehicles. We chose to gather on bikes tonight to remind the World Bank of the potential we have as individuals and communities to show up for what we believe in—the need to protect our planet, the international right to make healthy choices for our families, and a future that is just and livable for us all."
The action took place on the first day of the bank's 2023 spring meetings, which are being run this week by outgoing World Bank President David Malpass. Climate advocates cheered in February when Malpass, tapped to lead the bank by then-U.S. President Donald Trump in 2019, said that he plans to step down by the end of June, nearly a year ahead of schedule. The early resignation announcement followed a sustained pressure campaign against Malpass, who was condemned as a "climate denier" after refusing to acknowledge that burning fossil fuels causes the planet-heating pollution underlying increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather disasters around the globe.
Activists—whose bike ride started under a banner that reads, "World Bank: Time for a Fresh Start on Climate"—are now looking to Malpass' replacement, Banga, to reverse course and scale up decarbonization efforts. Progressives in February denounced U.S. President Joe Biden for nominating the private equity executive and former Mastercard CEO to the role, arguing that he's likely to advance the powerful international financial institution's historically pro-corporate and pro-fossil fuel agenda. Campaigners are wasting no time in pressuring Banga to make the World Bank an instrument for genuinely sustainable development.
Roughly 100 activists marked the opening day of the World Bank Group spring meetings by riding bicycles through the streets of Washington, D.C. on Monday night, calling on incoming bank president Ajay Banga to halt fossil fuel financing and ramp up clean energy and climate justice investments.
While demanding a turnaround on green funding in developing countries, the "Wrong Way on Climate" bike protest blocked rush-hour traffic outside World Bank headquarters as finance ministers traveled to dinner parties and backroom meetings.
"Bikes are very literally people-powered," Hope Neyer, a public health student and organizer with Shutdown D.C., said in a statement. "They're the ultimate zero-emission vehicles. We chose to gather on bikes tonight to remind the World Bank of the potential we have as individuals and communities to show up for what we believe in—the need to protect our planet, the international right to make healthy choices for our families, and a future that is just and livable for us all."
The action took place on the first day of the bank's 2023 spring meetings, which are being run this week by outgoing World Bank President David Malpass. Climate advocates cheered in February when Malpass, tapped to lead the bank by then-U.S. President Donald Trump in 2019, said that he plans to step down by the end of June, nearly a year ahead of schedule. The early resignation announcement followed a sustained pressure campaign against Malpass, who was condemned as a "climate denier" after refusing to acknowledge that burning fossil fuels causes the planet-heating pollution underlying increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather disasters around the globe.
Activists—whose bike ride started under a banner that reads, "World Bank: Time for a Fresh Start on Climate"—are now looking to Malpass' replacement, Banga, to reverse course and scale up decarbonization efforts. Progressives in February denounced U.S. President Joe Biden for nominating the private equity executive and former Mastercard CEO to the role, arguing that he's likely to advance the powerful international financial institution's historically pro-corporate and pro-fossil fuel agenda. Campaigners are wasting no time in pressuring Banga to make the World Bank an instrument for genuinely sustainable development.
"Nominee Banga has the opportunity of a lifetime, if he can rise to the climate challenge."
"After years of David Malpass in the president's office, we cannot afford another second of climate denial leading the bank," Andrew Nazdin, director of the Glasgow Actions Team, said Monday. "Nominee Banga has the opportunity of a lifetime, if he can rise to the climate challenge—ending financing oil or gas, ramping up investment in renewables, and becoming the transformative leader the world is begging for."
In an attempt to defend his record amid criticism last September, Malpass said the World Bank allocated $31.7 billion to climate finance in 2021, with half of it aimed at bolstering adaptation efforts. Not only is that a tiny fraction of the trillions of dollars in green investment the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says is needed each year to maintain a habitable planet, but according to reporting by the Financial Times, Malpass was directly involved in weakening multilateral development banks' (MDBs) joint announcement on climate lending at COP26.
After the World Bank described itself last year as "the largest multilateral funder of climate investments in developing countries," Bronwen Tucker of Oil Change International pointed out that "the World Bank Group still funds more fossil fuels than any other MDB, and they continue to lock Global South countries into expensive and volatile fossil fuel contracts through their heavy-handed policy lending programs."
The Big Shift Global coalition showed in a recent report that the World Bank has directly financed at least $14.8 billion in fossil fuel production since the signing of the Paris agreement in 2015—negating its 2017 pledge to stop supporting oil and gas projects within two years.
The IPCC and the International Energy Agency have made clear that fossil fuel expansion is incompatible with limiting global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, beyond which the climate emergency's consequences will grow even deadlier, especially for humanity's poorest members who have done the least to cause the crisis.
"As the World Bank and IMF meet behind closed doors to advance the agenda of concentrated corporate and political power, a coalition of D.C.-area activists in solidarity with movements worldwide, especially in the Global South, manifested a very different vision outside," Basav Sen, member of the For People For Planet coalition, said Monday. "We encircled the meetings on bicycle and on foot, to assert the power of organized people."
Concerned citizens from around the globe are demonstrating throughout the week to demand that the World Bank stop financing fossil fuels. They also plan to call for an overhaul of both Bretton Woods institutions—the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund—to "prioritize justice, helping developing countries to green to follow a 1.5°C roadmap with poverty alleviation at its heart," according to the Glasgow Actions Team. "They will also call to end the 'gentlemen's agreement' that has thus far allowed only the U.S. to nominate the World Bank president."
On Tuesday morning, activists held a "First 100 Days" protest outside World Bank headquarters. They unveiled a first 100 days checklist that outlines what they want incoming bank president Banga to achieve at the start of his five-year term.
Campaigners also plan to gather outside the World Bank on Wednesday for a "Stop Fossil Gas" demonstration, where they will draw attention to the bank's continued funding of a worldwide expansion of gas pipelines.
Activists plan to cap off the week of action with a large march and rally on Friday that features a "Trojan Horse" of debt impacts on low-income nations the World Bank works with.

Do you agree?

150 more agrees trigger scaled up advertising

  • Kevin

    61 w

    A great call from the bikers

    6
    • Saustine Lusanzu

      61 w

      This is good

      10
      • Daniel Waweru

        61 w

        Such protests are amazing, and they should be taken seriously

        9
      • Hilda Wangui

        61 w

        This is a great call fossils fuels should be stop ,world bank should take necessary action to stop it's funding to encourage on clean energy

        9
        • Daniel Waweru

          61 w

          @hilda_wangui they should be stopped with immediate effect

          8
        • Ajema Lydiah

          61 w

          a great initiative,fossil fuel must stop

          10
          • Daniel Waweru

            61 w

            @ajema_lydiah A great one indeed

            8
            • rosebellendiritu

              61 w

              @ajema_lydiah I support it must stop

              6
            • Elizabeth Gathigia

              61 w

              World Bank should be a good example for other banks to stop funding fossil fuel and not the other way around this is disappointing

              15
              • Daniel Waweru

                61 w

                @elizbeth_gathigia It is dissapointing to see such a great firm funding such a climatic threat

                9
                • Jane Wangui

                  61 w

                  @elizbeth_gathigia world bank should rethink their decision

                  5
                • Joseph Githinji

                  61 w

                  This is a great call from the bikers , hope the World Bank can here this call take the necessary changes immediately.

                  16
                • Munene Mugambi

                  61 w

                  World bank seems to be part of the problem

                  9
                • bonke reinhard

                  61 w

                  Good move

                  10
                  Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
                  Post youtube preview with preloading
                  youtube overlay

                  Write or agree to climate reviews to make businesses and world leaders act. It’s easy and it works.

                  Write a climate review

                  Voice your opinion on how businesses and organizations impact the climate.
                  0 trees planted

                  One tree is planted for every climate review written to an organization that is Open for Climate Dialogue™.

                  Download the app

                  We plant a tree for every new user.

                  AppleAndroid