More than a billion people in the world still don’t have electricity, let alone affordable, renewable energy.
To provide energy access to these people, whilst reducing carbon emissions that cause climate change, there needs to be more investment in renewable energy.
There's a long way to go, and we need your help.
The World Bank manages and invests huge amounts of taxpayers’ money in development projects. At the moment they're investing billions of dollars in fossil fuel projects, which contribute to carbon emissions – and cause climate change.
What do we need the World Bank to do, and why?
We're calling on the Bank to move all their money out of dirty fossil fuels, and into affordable sustainable renewable energy, to reach and benefit the most vulnerable and remote communities.
This would have a hugely positive impact on people currently living without access to modern energy – and it sets a gold standard for other public and private banks to aspire to.
Join the global campaign
The Big Shift Global campaign demands that all people have access to sustainable and affordable renewable energy.
The World Bank should be contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of universal energy access for all by 2030.
Right now, the World Bank is failing to meet this goal.
How can the World Bank meet this goal?
The Bank agrees that climate change is affecting the poorest people on the planet. Its goal is to end extreme poverty globally within a generation.
To do this, it must make the big shift out of fossil fuels and into sustainable energy access at a much greater pace, answering its own call to increase energy access financing five-fold.
We're calling for the Bank to dedicate at least half of its annual energy sector budget to clearly defined energy access projects.
Take action: email the President of the World Bank
Email the President of the World Bank, David Malpass, and ask him to drastically increase the funding for sustainable renewable energy access for the poorest people on the planet.
Double your impact by selecting your country of residence – your email will also be sent to your regional World Bank Executive Director.
Renewable energy success stories
Inspiring stories of small-scale renewable energy initiatives from around the world.
Community-run power plant in Guatemala
This small, community-owned dam and hydropower plant provides enough electricity for more than 1,500 people in remote La Taña village, Guatemala.
The power plant produces environmentally-friendly electric power from a renewable source, and is managed by the communities themselves, providing 300 families with access to affordable water and lighting. Their payments are pooled to cover maintenance costs and employ four local electricians to manage the equipment.
Building a small community-owned hydropower plant proves how indigenous communities and marginalised groups can utilise the natural resources found in their territories. Through this initiative, communities have guaranteed access to a sustainable source of electric power and all the benefits that brings.
Solar power in Malawi
In the poorest areas of Malawi, access to electricity is still a challenge. People’s activities are limited to daylight hours. Isaac Chilemba, from a village in Malawi, has become a successful ‘solar entrepreneur’ after an orientation session organised by our partners, Eagles Relief (ECRP) and Solar Aid.
Isaac told us: ‘We were briefed of the benefits and given a chance to buy the solar lights. I realised there is a market for solar power.’ However, it wasn’t easy to get started. ‘I could not even manage to buy a set of two gadgets so I paired with a friend and we shared one each.’
Sales have been building steadily since and he has now sold nearly 100 gadgets. ‘I have managed to buy fertiliser, seed and paid for my field that I am renting,’ he says. ‘We live a better life now because of this business. My wife and I are members of groups where we have access to small loans.’
Photo credit: ECRP/Nicola Milne
Building back brighter in the Philippines
Arturo Tahup from the Institute for Climate Change and Sustainable Cities in the Philippines promotes sustainable energy solutions for transportation and development projects such as construction of new housing following disasters. They are working in Tacloban to help ‘build back better, and brighter’.
Arturo told us that ‘the issue of power is a power issue’ with the real barrier to a shift to renewables being centralised grid systems.
Under the Access to Better Energy (ABE) Project with our Philippines partners, Urban Poor Associates and TAO Pilipinas, more than 50 solar scholars successfully graduated from Solar Solutions training. They are now capable of acting as community-based solar technology specialists to provide urgent support in times of disasters and emergencies in vulnerable communities.
The Big Shift Global: a quick Q&A
What's needed to make the Big Shift?
- Phase out fossil fuels
- Introduce renewable energy and energy efficiency
- Provide clean energy access
What do we need to phase out fossil fuels?
- An end to all subsidies for fossil fuels immediately
- An end to public finance to fossils fuels, starting with coal, tar sands and fracking
- For the World Bank Group to be transparent about their energy investments, and reduce their investments’ carbon footprints
What do we need to introduce renewable energy and energy efficiency?
- Increased investment in off-grid energy and new technologies
- New finance to support every governments’ commitments to tackle the causes and impacts of climate change
- Increased energy efficiency in areas of transport and refrigeration
How will renewable energy be made available to everybody?
- Greater priority is given to decentralised and off-grid renewable energy technologies