Por Matthew Green
LONDON (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urged development banks on Monday to discontinue support for fossil fuel projects, increasing pressure on public creditors before a climate change summit that France will perform next month.
Environmental activists have for years demanded that commercial banks listed in Europe, the United States and Asia stop funding new coal-fired power plants, oil exploration or natural gas infrastructure.
But the world’s development banks, whose support is often crucial in determining whether such projects are viable, are also facing calls to end funding for the fossil fuel industry.
Guterres called for a virtual meeting of a coalition of economic ministers and economic policy makers from dozens of countries to ensure that development banks eliminate investments in fossil fuels, rapidly increase support for renewable energy and support projects to help those most exposed the impacts of climate change.
“We need speed, magnitude and decisive leadership,” said Guterres in a video message. “I count on this coalition to face the challenge.”
France will host what it says is the first global meeting of all public development banks to discuss climate change, called Finance in Common Summit, on November 12.