Dirty Dozen

How Public Finance Drives the Climate Crisis through Oil, Gas, and Coal Expansion

Big Shift Global campaign
December 2017

As heads of state and leading institutions gather on 12th December in Paris to celebrate the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change, a new briefing from the Big Shift Global campaign profiles twelve fossil fuel projects – the “Dirty Dozen” – that exemplify the massive volumes of public finance still flowing to fossil fuel projects. These preferential fossil fuel finance flows that benefit the oil, gas, and coal industries are slowing down the energy transition in the global economy, and undermining the spirit of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

Download the press release here.

These dozen projects are not necessarily the worst or biggest fossil fuel projects benefiting from public finance, but they are examples of the kinds of activity that communities and concerned citizens across the world want public finance institutions to stop supporting with taxpayer money. To have any hope of meeting globally-agreed climate goals, global financial flows must rapidly align with low-emission, climate-resilient development, and government-backed public finance institutions like the World Bank must signal this transition.

Multilateral development banks and G20 public finance institutions provide almost four times as much finance to fossil fuels than to clean energy in an average year. This translates to an average of $71.8 billion per year between 2013-15 in public finance for fossil fuels, compared to just $18.7 billion for renewable energy (without negative environmental and social impacts), from the same institutions and world leaders that have committed to achieving the aims of the Paris Agreement.

As steps on the path toward shifting  away from fossil fuel finance and scaling up clean energy access, the Big Shift Global campaign calls on public finance institutions, and specifically the World Bank Group, to immediately end finance for fossil fuel exploration and remaining coal finance, while establishing a clear roadmap to aligning their finance with a future that keeps global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius.