Our Challenge

Banks, investment firms, multilateral funds, development agencies and government ministries wield tremendous power. Through their financial decisions, they inform which economic activities receive investment and which don’t, shaping our collective future. 

Yet these institutions continue to invest too much money in unsustainable and polluting activities that threaten communities’ health and well-being. In 2020, the world invested $76 billion in coal supply, and much more into oil and gas. At the same time, we are still tens of billions of dollars short of funding promises made in the Paris Agreement on climate change, leaving vital mitigation and adaptation needs unmet. And private investors still lack tools, awareness and incentives to act more sustainably.


Global banks invested $2.7 trillion in fossil fuels since 2015


of the G20’s stimulus for the energy sector supports fossil fuels


Building resilience to climate change will require $300 billion a year by 2030

Our Approach

WRI aims to shift financial flows away from dangerous activities that fuel climate change and towards solutions for an equitable, low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.

We produce data-driven, policy-actionable research and convene coalitions that can influence financial institutions and markets. We uphold the role of finance in international climate change negotiations by providing expert input to the Paris Agreement process, tracking developed countries’ provision of finance, and publishing recommendations for improving climate finance architecture.

We strengthen the capacity of governments to access climate finance by working directly with ministries in India, Fiji and Guatemala.

We promote sustainable private-sector finance including in our own endowment by researching cutting-edge topics like physical climate risks and providing tools for investors and others. And we work to green multilateral development finance institutions and China’s Belt and Road Initiative through direct engagement and research.

The Paying for Paris Resource Hub provides a comprehensive, multimedia collection of tools for planning, raising and redirecting finance for national climate efforts. With interviews, policy briefs and a library of useful links, the hub showcases research, expert experience and case studies from around the world.

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