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

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference on Sept. 27. 

Photographer: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg

President Donald Trump faces renewed scrutiny of his personal finances just weeks ahead of Election Day, after a report raised fresh questions about his business savvy and the integrity of his accounting.

The New York Times report, published Sunday, portrayed a president in a financial vise who could potentially turn to investments that could threaten his independence as commander-in-chief. Citing tax documents, it said Trump, a billionaire, paid no income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years and only $750 in 2016 and 2017.

Trump on Monday tweeted a retort accusing the media of reporting on his taxes and “all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information & only bad intent.” But he didn’t offer a rebuttal on the substance. The president has repeatedly said he’d release his tax documents only after an Internal Revenue Service audit was complete.

WATCH: Trump answers questions about the New York Times article on his tax returns.

The report offered a catalog of potential improprieties — citing tax documents — that threaten to dog the president just as he tries to breathe new life into his struggling campaign with the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. It also provides Biden with fresh fodder just ahead of the first presidential debate on Tuesday evening.

“It contributes to this larger sense that we have from Donald Trump that