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Tearfund urges new World Bank president to keep climate promises

09 Apr 2019

International relief and development agency Tearfund is urging the new World Bank President, David Malpass, to implement fully the Bank’s commitments to tackle climate change and transform the institution into a climate champion ahead of the Spring Meetings in Washington from April 12 - 14.

Dr Ruth Valerio, Director of Advocacy at Tearfund said: “There are concerns that Mr Malpass may not keep to the previous commitments the World Bank has made on climate change. This would be a mistake because we know that climate change is the biggest threat to people in developing nations and the World Bank’s investments have a huge impact on the poorest people.

“While the World Bank has already made some encouraging initial steps, I urge the new president to ensure that all its investments are in line with the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions and the impact on the poorest.”

In 2018 Tearfund’s Light Up The Darkness campaign called on the World Bank to invest more in off-grid renewable energy like solar for people in poverty, especially those in rural areas of Africa and Asia.

Emmanuel Kimbe, from Tearfund partner Christian Council of Tanzania, will be at the Spring Meetings in Washington to urge the World Bank to contribute more funding towards renewable energy sources in remote areas.

“In Tanzania we have seen the transformative impact of off-grid renewable energy for people in poverty, without the harmful effects of fossil fuels which contribute to climate change. For example, Rachel was able to take out a loan through a self-help group supported by Tearfund to buy a solar panel. By day she is a farmer but now that she has light in the evenings she can earn money as a tailor and her children can do their homework.”

“Over a billion people worldwide don’t have access to electricity, which is why we need a major investor like the World Bank to scale up this kind of activity,” Mr Kimbe added.

Tearfund’s Light Up The Darkness petition has gathered over 16,500 signatures and will be handed in to the World Bank at the Spring Meetings in Washington.

For further information call Mel Barnston on 07929 335 146 or Tearfund Media Team on 0208 3906 3131. For out of hours media enquiries please call +44 (0)7498 540276.

Notes to Editors:

The World Bank is an international organisation dedicated to providing money, advice and research to developing nations to eliminate poverty and aid their economic advancement.

Previously the World Bank Group has committed to:

  • A new set of climate targets for 2021-2025, doubling its current 5-year investments to around $200 billion in support for countries to take ambitious climate action. This includes about $100 billion in direct financing and $10 billion a year for countries to adapt to climate change.
  • Phasing out investing in ‘upstream’ oil and gas after 2019. This includes exploration, extraction and production.
  • $1 billion to help fast-track investments in battery storage for renewable energy in developing and middle-income countries.
  • To align their financial flows with the Paris Agreement on climate change to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. This means transitioning to invest in 100% renewable energy.

About Tearfund
Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency and a member of the Disasters’ Emergency Committee. Founded in 1968, Tearfund has been working around the world for more than 50 years responding to disasters and helping lift communities out of poverty. For more information about the work of Tearfund, please visit

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