By Matthew Green

LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters)United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged development banks to stop backing fossil fuel projects, after a report found the World Bank had invested $12 billion in the sector since the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

Environmental campaigners have for years tried to prevent the oil, coal and natural gas industry from producing dangerous levels of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change by persuading commercial banks to stop lending them money.

But the world’s state-backed development banks, whose support is often crucial in determining whether projects in developing countries go ahead, are also facing growing calls to starve the industry of finance.

Guterres urged a coalition of finance ministers and economic policymakers from dozens of countries to ensure development banks end fossil fuel investments and boost renewable energy.

“We need speed, scale, and decisive leadership,” Guterres said in a video message to a virtual meeting of the group.

Earlier on Monday, a report by Berlin-based environmental group Urgewald said that the World Bank had invested more than $12 billion in fossil fuels since the Paris accord, $10.5 billion of which was direct finance for new projects.

That put the World Bank far ahead of other development banks in supporting the sector, said Heike Mainhardt, a senior adviser to Urgewald, who wrote the report.

With the world already on track to produce far more fossil fuels than would be compatible with temperature goals agreed in Paris, the report questioned why the World Bank would back increased oil and natural gas production in countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Mozambique.

The World Bank said the report gave a “distorted and unsubstantiated view,” adding that it had committed nearly $9.4 billion to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing

LONDON (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged development banks to stop backing fossil fuel projects, after a report found the World Bank had invested $12 billion in the sector since the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

Environmental campaigners have for years tried to prevent the oil, coal and natural gas industry from producing dangerous levels of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change by persuading commercial banks to stop lending them money.

But the world’s state-backed development banks, whose support is often crucial in determining whether projects in developing countries go ahead, are also facing growing calls to starve the industry of finance.

Guterres urged a coalition of finance ministers and economic policymakers from dozens of countries to ensure development banks end fossil fuel investments and boost renewable energy.

“We need speed, scale, and decisive leadership,” Guterres said in a video message to a virtual meeting of the group.

Earlier on Monday, a report by Berlin-based environmental group Urgewald said that the World Bank had invested more than $12 billion in fossil fuels since the Paris accord, $10.5 billion of which was direct finance for new projects.

That put the World Bank far ahead of other development banks in supporting the sector, said Heike Mainhardt, a senior adviser to Urgewald, who wrote the report.

With the world already on track to produce far more fossil fuels than would be compatible with temperature goals agreed in Paris, the report questioned why the World Bank would back increased oil and natural gas production in countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Mozambique.

The World Bank said the report gave a “distorted and unsubstantiated view,” adding that it had committed nearly $9.4 billion to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries from 2015-19.

The bank also

(Bloomberg) — British Airways Chief Executive Officer Alex Cruz is being replaced, just weeks after fellow Spaniard Luis Gallego took over as head of parent company IAG SA.



Alex Cruz wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Alex Cruz, chief executive officer of British Airways, looks on at the 20th anniversary of Oneworld airline alliance in London, UK, on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Airbus SE hasn’t offered low enough prices to justify additional orders chief executive officer of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) Willie Walsh said at the alliance meeting.


© Bloomberg
Alex Cruz, chief executive officer of British Airways, looks on at the 20th anniversary of Oneworld airline alliance in London, UK, on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Airbus SE hasn’t offered low enough prices to justify additional orders chief executive officer of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) Willie Walsh said at the alliance meeting.

Sean Doyle, who has been running Irish sister carrier Aer Lingus, will take over immediately as British Airways CEO, according to a statement Monday. Cruz, 54, will stay on as chairman of the U.K. airline for a transition period, before Doyle assumes that role as well.

Cruz is leaving after being passed over in January as replacement for the group’s chief, Willie Walsh, who retired as IAG head last month after 15 years in the job. The 54-year-old Cruz joined IAG when the London-based group bought out Vueling, the discount carrier he headed.

Initially seen as a likely successor to Walsh, Cruz was criticized for the extent of cost cuts and service changes during his four years at the helm. Pilots, former staff and customers suggested British Airways’ image as a premium carrier was being tarnished — even as Walsh kept up pressure for even deeper cutbacks.



Alex Cruz wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Alex Cruz, chief executive officer of British Airways, looks on at the 20th anniversary of Oneworld airline alliance in London, UK, on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Airbus SE hasn’t offered low enough prices to justify additional orders chief executive officer of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) Willie Walsh said at the alliance meeting.


© Bloomberg
Alex Cruz, chief executive officer of British Airways, looks on at the 20th anniversary of Oneworld airline alliance in London, UK, on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Airbus SE hasn’t offered low enough prices to justify additional orders chief executive officer of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) Willie Walsh said at the alliance meeting.

Union Clashes

This year, Cruz clashed with unions and politicians over plans to

(Reuters) – The European Union’s new trade chief has told the U.S. to withdraw tariffs on more than $7 billion of EU products or face additional duties on exports to Europe, as he urged a settlement to the dispute over Airbus SE

and Boeing Co

, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. 

Repairing the transatlantic relationship would be EU’s top priority, and the U.S. should withdraw its Airbus-related tariffs as a confidence-building measure, the EU’s new trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis told https://on.ft.com/2GEqmap the FT.

“Of course, if the US is not withdrawing their tariffs we have no choice but to then introduce our tariffs,” he was quoted as saying.

Washington was awarded the right by the World Trade Organization (WTO) last October, to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion of annual EU imports in its case against Airbus. Washington then imposed 25% duties on products ranging from single-malt whisky to olives and cheese and 10% tariffs on most European-made Airbus jets.

In mid-February, the U.S. government said it would increase tariffs on aircraft imported from the EU to 15% from 10%, ratcheting up pressure on Brussels in a nearly 16-year dispute over aircraft subsidies.

The EU for its part, has been cleared by the WTO to impose tariffs on U.S. products worth $4 billion to retaliate against subsidies for American planemaker Boeing, sources told Reuters last month, with the award expected to be published within weeks.

Dombrovskis refused to speculate about the impact a Joe Biden presidency might have on the dispute, but told the FT that a more protectionist approach was something that came with the administration of Donald Trump.

“But in any case we will be engaging . . . and trying to bring the US administration back within the framework of multilateralism,” he added.

(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya

(Bloomberg) — China will maintain “normal” monetary policy for as long as possible, according to the People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang.

Policy makers plan to encourage a “reasonable” increase in household savings and incomes, Yi wrote in an article published Saturday in the central bank’s biweekly magazine China Finance. The country will also make sure its liquidity stays somewhat ample, and will facilitate reasonable growth of money supply and social financing, while avoiding excess liquidity flooding the economy in order to reduce fluctuations, he said.



Yi Gang wearing a suit and tie: People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang Exclusive Interview


© Bloomberg
People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang Exclusive Interview

Yi Gang

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Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Most of the world’s major economies have rolled out fiscal and monetary measures to counter the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Yi cautioned that excessive stimulus could lead to debt expansion and create asset bubbles that will increase longer-term systemic risks.

The governor also said financial institutions and their shareholders, local governments and regulators should take prime responsibility in dealing with risks. When unexpected events occur, shareholders at the respective financial institutions should assume the losses, and insolvent institutions should exit the market according to law, he said.

The central bank said last month it will make monetary policy more precise and targeted after the quarterly policy meeting. The PBOC called on lenders to make full use of structured monetary tools to increase the “directness” of its policies, and vowed to achieve a long-term balance between stabilizing growth and preventing risks.

The governor’s deputy, Chen Yulu, wrote in a separate article in the magazine that the bank will prevent inflation, debt expansion and asset bubbles from forming as a result of excessive liquidity. Such funds are meant to support economic growth.

Chen also wrote that China should increase financial support to the new-energy sector, including