To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with representatives of (a) the World Bank and (b) other donors on encouraging (i) cessation all new fossil fuel investments and (ii) investment in clean energy to tackle air pollution.
The UK government recognises the importance of reducing fossil fuel consumption both to address carbon emissions and to tackle air pollution. Air pollution which is the number one environmental determinant of health and exposure to air pollution (indoor and outdoor) causes around 7 million deaths annually.
We have shared the UK's fossil fuel policy with the World Bank and other Multilateral Development Banks that the UK is a member of. We have explained that this policy determines the UK's stance on energy investments by the banks and have encouraged them to update their respective energy policies to align with ours. The World Bank's 'Climate Change Action Plan' 2021-2025 published in June 2021 includes important commitments to: support countries' energy transitions from fossil fuels to renewables; align the Bank's financing with the Paris Agreement; and ensure that at least 35% of the Bank's financing will have climate benefits. We have also shared and discussed the UK policy with other members of the Boards of the multilateral banks, including with the representatives of the developing countries that borrow from them. The US has published new guidance on its approach to fossil fuels at the Multilateral Development Banks which is well aligned with the UK's policy on international support for fossil fuels.