The president of the World Bank (WB), David Malpass, has been under the fire of criticism since the beginning of the week, accused of being “climate skeptic”, a reproach to which he tried to respond this Friday without calming the calls in favor of his departure.
It all started when former US Vice President Al Gore said on Monday that David Malpass was “climate skeptical” and had failed to improve funding for climate projects in developing countries.
Invited the next day to speak about these accusations during a round table organized by the New York Timesthe president of the WB refused on three occasions to say whether he recognized the role of fossil fuels in global warming.
Pushed by the public, he preferred to highlight the “enormous effort” made by the World Bank to help finance against global warming.
“I will not give up”
His response outraged the specialized NGOs, so they asked for his departure. “We condemn the statements of the president” of the BM, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said on Friday, recalling however that “replacing him requires the agreement of the majority of shareholders, we must keep that in mind. “
According to him, “none” of the member states of the international financial institution has asked for his resignation.
Says “got confused”
He assured that he was not a climate skeptic, pointing out that “greenhouse gases of human origin are the cause of global warming.” “And our mission is to launch projects and financing that have an impact” to reduce emissions, he added.
A statement that he had already made the day before, on the CNN International channel, stating that “it is obvious that greenhouse gas emissions are of human origin, in particular due to the use of fossil fuels.” “And we’re working to change that,” she said.
But his justifications did not calm the critics: in turn, a group of scientists specializing in climate issues called for the departure of David Malpass this Friday.
World Bank under fire from critics
Above all because if the president of the World Bank defends his institution’s trajectory in the fight against global warming, some criticize him for not doing enough.
“I am concerned about the World Bank,” economist Joseph Stiglitz, a former World Bank chief economist and now highly critical of the institution, said on Monday, “on the most important issues, such as global warming, it has not taken the lead on the needs of the world”.
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David Malpass’s political profile is no stranger to the attention he receives on climate issues. Republican and Undersecretary of the Treasury, in charge of international economic relations, of former US President Donald Trump, he was appointed by the latter in 2019 at the head of the World Bank to take over from his compatriot, Jim Yong Kim, who resigned.
According to a pre-established method of appointment, the United States effectively chooses the president of the World Bank, while Europe makes the decision on the management of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The participation of the countries in the capital of the two institutions is the basis for this distribution, with the United States and the European Union as a whole being the two main shareholders.
Source: BFM TV