World Bank president says he won’t resign over climate remark
WASHINGTON — World Bank President David Malpass said Friday he won’t resign after coming under criticism for his remarks earlier this week regarding climate change.
Malpass refused to answer directly when asked if fossil fuel burning has contributed to global warming at an event sponsored Tuesday by The New York Times. Instead, he said, “I am not a scientist.”
In an interview with Politico Friday, Malpass said he wouldn’t resign, and that he hasn’t been asked to do so by any of the bank’s member governments. He acknowledged he should have done a better job responding to questions on Tuesday, when he was asked to respond to a charge earlier that day from former Vice President Al Gore that he was a “climate denier.”
“When asked, ‘Are you a climate denier?’ I should have said no,” he said.
Malpass said that the World Bank is taking a “forceful leader” position on climate issues.
” “It’s obvious that greenhouse gas emissions due to human activity are causing global climate change,” Malpass stated in a Friday interview. “So the task for us, for the world, is to pull together the projects and the funding that actually has an impact.”
Malpass was nominated to the position by former President Donald Trump in 2019, under the longstanding tradition that allows the U.S. to choose the head of the World Bank and European governments to pick the head of the International Monetary Fund. His five-year term expires in April 2024.
White House press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated Friday that the Biden administration disagrees to Malpass’ comments that climate change is not caused human activity.
Jean-Pierre did not say whether the administration would seek to remove Malpass, as that would require the approval of other World Bank members. Jean-Pierre stated that the Treasury Department would hold Malpass responsible and support the many staff members working at the World Bank to combat climate change. But again, removal would require a majority of stakeholders.”
Environmentalists have urged that Malpass be pushed out if necessary. Johanna Chao Kreilick (president of the Union of Concerned Scientists) stated that
“Climate Denialism is not appropriate in a world where millions are suffering from the ravages of the crisis. “Malpass should be replaced immediately.”
Associated Press writer Josh Boak contributed to this report.
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