Washington (AFP) – World Bank President David Malpass is under pressure for his comments on climate policy.
“We do not agree with President Malpass’s comments,” White House spokeswoman Karen-Jean-Pierre said Friday (local time) in Washington. At an event organized by the New York Times on Tuesday, US economist Malpass was repeatedly accused of denying the climate crisis and of avoiding questions about whether burning fossil fuels is contributing to global warming. Instead, Malpass said, “I’m not a scientist.” This brought him a lot of criticism.
The United States expects the World Bank to play a leading role in the climate crisis
Jean-Pierre said the US government expects the World Bank to show leadership on climate goals. “Treasury, which oversees our engagement with international financial institutions, has made this expectation clear to the World Bank’s leadership and will continue to do so.” She did not specifically respond to the question of a possible separation of Malpass, but emphasized that decisions of this nature generally require a majority among shareholders.
In an interview with news site Politico on Friday, Malpass tried to limit the damage and said he regretted his choice of words. “That was a poorly chosen sentence.” When asked if he denies the climate crisis, Malpass said, he should have answered “No.” At the same time, he made it clear that he would not resign.
Malpass 2019 proposed by former President Trump
Malpass took office in 2019 during the term of former US President Donald Trump at his suggestion. He was appointed for five years. In the past, Trump has repeatedly questioned whether climate change is man-made – and these doubts have been scientifically disproved. The Republican had pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement during his tenure. His Democratic successor, Joe Biden, reversed the move immediately after taking office and led the United States to agreement. Biden declared combating climate change one of his most important goals.
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