The World Bank president appears to have heeded mounting calls for resignation and turned around after refusing to say the climate crisis was real.
during a New York Times On Tuesday, David Malpass, appointed by former President Donald Trump, was obfuscated when asked whether he accepted scientific evidence that the worsening climate crisis was caused by humanity’s burning of fossil fuels.
He was asked point-blank about his views hours after Al Gore, a climate activist and former vice president, described Malpass as a “climate denier” during a panel. Gore called on President Joe Biden to remove Malpass from his post and criticized the bank for continuing to provide capital for fossil fuel companies to work in developing countries.
Malpass was repeatedly asked about Gore’s claim and whether he recognized the scientific consensus that fossil fuel use is “warming the planet rapidly and dangerously.”
He declined to provide a direct answer to the question, telling the audience, “I am not a scientist.”
On Thursday, Malpass sent a note to World Bank officials acknowledging the reality of the climate crisis, according to Political.
“On climate, it is clear that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are causing climate change and that the sharp increase in the use of coal, diesel and heavy fuel oil in advanced economies and developing countries is creating another wave of climate crisis. . Anything seen in a different light is incorrect and regrettable,” Malpass’s note read, according to Political.
The Independent contacted the World Bank for comment.
Malpass was named president of the World Bank after being nominated by Trump in 2019.
Climate activists and other political figures have joined Gore’s call for the bank boss to be removed following his appearance.
Democratic Representative Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, released a statement calling Malpass’s refusal to accept the overwhelming scientific consensus on the climate crisis “horrific”.
“It is extremely concerning that the leader of the world’s leading development institution and largest source of climate finance calls into question the vast scientific evidence on which the Bank’s climate work is likely or should be based,” the text read.
Bill McKibben, a longtime environmentalist and founder of the grassroots climate movement 350.org, used his weekly newsletter to call for the banker’s resignation.
“Some essential climate tasks are difficult and expensive and take years,” He wrote. And some couldn’t be easier. President Biden needs – now – to get rid of David Malpass as head of the World Bank.”
John Kerry, the US special envoy on climate change, who also attended the event earlier this week, was asked whether the World Bank president had the confidence of the White House.
Kerry declined to comment, saying, “This is the president’s decision.”
However, he indicated that support for the bank’s position may be lacking in the Biden administration.
Speaking about multilateral development banks and their role in the climate crisis, Kerry said: “We need a big reform, a big restructuring.”
“It’s up to us to bring people together and do this reform, and there’s a lot of discussion about doing that now.”