Paris/Brussels – A climate summit hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron on the second anniversary of the Paris climate agreement has ended with a surprise commitment from the World Bank but no major announcements from governments.
The World Bank said that it would end investments in gas and oil exploration and extraction. But president Macron failed to make any meaningful announcement, only days before European ministers are due to debate the future of the continent’s climate and energy policies.
Commenting on the World Bank announcement, Greenpeace International climate campaigner Gyorgy Dallos said: “The end is clearly coming for the oil and gas industry as the pace of change accelerates. After the historic announcement by the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, NBIM, the World Bank – one of the world’s most powerful financial institutions – has sent a damning vote of no confidence on the future of the fossil fuel industry. The world’s financial institutions now need to take note and decide whether their financing is going to be part of the problem or the solution.
“Critically, we also welcome the World Bank taking the challenge to set a unifying standard for green bonds. This is much needed especially considering the ongoing review of the China Green Bond Catalogue, which still includes coal.”
Commenting on the One Planet climate summit, Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said: “Macron put on a grand show, but political leaders assembled outside Paris have little to show at the end of the conference. Europe is playing well below its potential on climate change and Macron’s empty words are not going to make a whole lot of difference. In Brussels, France fights much harder for its nuclear industry than for a transition to renewable energy and stands by while the likes of Spain and Poland seek subsidies for coal plants.
“Governments need to roll up their sleeves and get to work if Europe is to regain some of its credibility on climate change. They should start by raising the EU’s 2030 targets to cut greenhouse gases and increase the share of renewable energy.”
The One Planet Summit precedes a meeting of EU energy ministers on 18 December to discuss the future of the bloc’s energy policy. Talks will be focussed on a new EU policy package which includes renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate goals for 2030.
France has done nothing to prevent Spain and Poland from lobbying to allow coal plants to access subsidies under the EU’s energy policy package, and has opposed measures to make it easier for Europeans to produce, store and sell their own renewable energy.
Greenpeace France climate campaigner Sarah Fayolle added: “Emmanuel Macron claims he wants to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. But this is no time to celebrate: his government isn’t even able to comply with the French energy transition law.
“If France really wants to play a leading role in the development of renewable energy on a national, European and international scale, it must end its support for nuclear energy and shut down its reactors. Nuclear energy is now more expensive than most renewable energy sources across the world. Saving the climate, requires the most effective solutions. Nuclear is not part of it. What we need is concrete action, not communication operations.”
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