World Bank Launches Access and Emissions-Focused Energy Investment Strategy

World Bank16 July 2013: The World Bank's recently published energy sector direction paper has gained support of the Bank's Executive Board and will inform investments and activities in future. The new strategy is aligned with the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative and will see the Bank cease investment in coal power except in rare circumstances.

The paper, titled 'Toward a Sustainable Energy Future for All: Directions for the World Bank Group's Energy Sector,' outlines that the Bank activities will strive to “minimize the financial and environmental costs of expanding reliable energy supply” while respecting country sovereignty and national circumstances in determining national energy strategy. The paper indicates that the Bank will stop financing coal power generation except in rare circumstances such as “meeting basic energy needs in countries with no feasible alternatives,” representing a shift in Bank policy.

Additionally, the paper outlines that the Bank's energy activities will strive to, inter alia: increase and improve sectorally-integrated long term planning; improve financial, operational and institutional environments; improve opportunities for private sector involvement; take a multi-stakeholder, inclusive approach; balance development and environmental goals; increase global advocacy on the importance of low-carbon technologies and policy related to them; and increase use of regional approaches to energy production and consumption. [World Bank Press Release] [Publication: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future for All: Directions for the World Bank Group's Energy Sector]