PARIS (Reuters) - The World Bank will no longer finance upstream oil and gas projects after 2019, apart from certain gas projects in the poorest countries in exceptional circumstances, it said on Tuesday, drawing praise from environmental groups.

The announcement came as French President Emmanuel Macron told dozens of world leaders and company executives at a climate summit that they were losing the battle against climate change and needed to react.

Greenpeace welcomed the move.

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"The World Bank ... has sent a damning vote of no confidence to the future of the fossil fuel industry," Greenpeace International climate campaigner Gyorgy Dallos said, challenging banks to follow suite.

Stephen Kretzmann, of the Oil Change International advocacy group, said it was time for all of the institutions, countries, investors and individuals who are still in the Paris Agreement to stop funding fossil fuels.

(Reporting by Michel Rose and Ingrid Melander; Editing by David Goodman)