Climate groups have called for the World Bank’s president, David Malpass to be removed after he reportedly refused severally to say whether he believed man-made emissions contributed to global warming.
This is not the first-time activists are calling on Malpass who is a veteran of Republican administrations in the United States to resign or be removed for what they describe as his inadequate approach to the climate crisis.
The chorus against Malpass- who was appointed in 2019 while Donald Trump, who famously and repeatedly denied the science behind climate change, was president- grew louder after his appearance on Tuesday at a New York Times conference on climate finance.
When he was asked by a journalist to respond to former US vice president Al Gore’s claim that he was a climate denier, Malpass said that some of his critics “may not know what the World Bank is doing”. He also boasted that its climate funding is “by far the biggest” among international financial institutions.
After another attempt failed to get a straight answer, the journalist, David Gelles, said: “Let me just be as clear as I can: Do you accept the scientific consensus that the man-made burning of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet?”
Again, Malpass pointed to the World Bank’s work on the issue, at which point multiple people in the audience shouted: “Answer the question!”
He responded and said, “I don’t even know. I’m not a scientist,”
In their reaction, the Big Shift, a consortium of climate groups, called on Wednesday for the World Bank’s board to remove Malpass over the comments, saying that for the World Bank to maintain any shred of decency, Malpass cannot remain as president.
Separate groups of activist organisations have also said they would Aunveil a banner at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington that reads: “The World Bank Group is Run by a Climate Denier.”
Although Malpass’ term only ends in 2024 and he can only be removed by a vote of the World Bank’s board, climate groups have called on US President Joe Biden to up the outside pressure.
There is yet no comment from the World Bank and the White House on the subject.
Story was adapted from the Sun Daily.