Posted by on September 23, 2022 11:43 am
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Biden officials weigh ousting Trump-picked World Bank head over climate comments

David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group, arrives for a meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Kishida’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. (Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP) Issei Kato/AP

Biden officials weigh ousting Trump-picked World Bank head over climate comments

Breanne Deppisch September 23, 11:02 AMSeptember 23, 11:02 AM Video Embed

Biden administration officials are considering ousting Trump-appointed World Bank chief David Malpass after his remarks on climate change sparked uproar earlier this week.

Malpass dodged repeated questions on climate change and the impact of fossil fuels on global warming earlier this week.

Asked several times at a New York Times event whether “man-made burning of fossil fuels” is contributing to global warming, Malpass declined to answer, before finally saying in response, “I don’t even know. I’m not a scientist.”

His remarks sparked uproar and prompted calls for his resignation from climate activists.

It also set off alarm bells among some Biden administration officials, who see Malpass as weak on climate, and the administration has started gaming out replacements, Axios reported, including former Vice President Al Gore and climate envoy John Kerry. President Joe Biden’s stance on Malpass is not known.

Gore accused Malpass on Thursday of being a “climate change denier.”

Speaking at a panel also hosted by the New York Times, Gore said that under its current leadership, the World Bank is not doing enough to finance clean energy projects in developing nations.

“Since almost 90% of the increased emissions going forward are coming from developing countries, we have to take the top layers of risk off the access to capital in these developing countries,” Gore said. “That’s the job of the World Bank.”

Malpass, who was appointed by then-President Donald Trump in 2019 to serve a five-year term, has since walked back his remarks, both in an interview on CNN and a note to World Bank staffers.

“I’m not a denier,” he said on CNN, saying his remarks had been “tangled” and that he was “not always good at conveying” his message.

“I don’t always do the best job in answering the questions or hearing what the questions are,” he said.

In his letter to World Bank staff, Malpass said the “sharp increase in the use of coal, diesel, and heavy fuel oil in both advanced economies and developing countries is creating another wave of the climate crisis.”

“Anything seen in a different light is incorrect and regrettable,” he added.

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The White House did not respond to a request for comment about whether it is seeking his removal.

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