Major financial institutions rebuke the Trump agenda, announce big steps away from fossil fuels

Two major financial institutions — one public, one private — announced that they would be significantly paring down their investment in fossil fuel projects, signaling a shift in the way financial institutions assess the risks associated with fossil fuels and climate change.

During the One Planet Summit taking place in Paris, France this week, the World Bank announced that it would no longer finance upstream oil and gas — meaning any projects that involve oil and gas exploration or production — after 2019, making exceptions only for extreme cases. Because the World Bank already has a commitment in place restricting support for coal-fired power plants and thermal coal mining, the announcement essentially means that the World Bank will cease financing of nearly all fossil fuel projects after 2019.

In a separate announcement, also made at the One Planet Summit, insurance giant Axa — which is based in France but does business all over the world — said that it would no longer invest in or insure tar sands projects or U.S. pipelines. Axa also said that it would quadruple its efforts to divest from companies that make at least 30 percent of their profits from coal.

“Both announcements signal a broader shift to the global finance community that the era of fossil fuels is ending and that there’s significant risk associated with investing in oil and coal, both reputational and financial.”

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