Accused of being climatosceptic, boss of World Bank does not plan to resign

The White House said “condemn”, Friday, the words of David Malpass, who had refused to recognize, during a round table, the role of fossil fuels in global warming.

Le Monde with AFP

The former American vice-president Al Gore, then the Nobel Prize in economics Joseph Stiglitz, and now the White House: critics have accumulated this week against the president of the World Bank, David Malpass, accused of be climatosceptic. A criticism to which he tried to answer, Friday, September 23, without calming the calls inviting him to resign.

Everything started from Mr. Gore. On Monday, the latter estimated that Mr. Malpass was “climatosceptic” and that he had not been able to improve the financing of projects in favor of the climate in developing countries. Invited the next day to express themselves on these accusations during a round table organized by the New York Times, the president of the World Bank refused three times to recognize the role of fossil fuels in global warming. “I am not a scientist”, he had ended up declaring, preferring to highlight “the enormous effort” carried out by the international financial institution to help funding against global warming.

His response outraged specialized NGOs, who called to his departure. “I will not resign and I have not considered it,” replied Mr. Malpass on Friday, questioned by Politico . According to him, “none” of the member states of the World Bank has claimed his resignation. He assured that he was not climatosceptic, saying that “greenhouse gases of human origin are the cause of global warming”. “And our mission is to set up projects and funding that have an impact” to reduce CO₂ emissions, he added.

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“I am not a climatosceptic,” he said the day before on CNN, explaining that he was “confused” and not “always be good when it comes to answering questions”. But his justifications did not silence criticism: in turn, a group of scientists specializing in climatic questions called for his departure on Friday.

“We condemn the remarks made by the president” of the World Bank, sent the White House spokesperson on Friday, Karine Jean-Pierre, who recalls, however, that “replacing it requires the agreement of a majority shareholders “. “We expect the World Bank that it is an international engine in terms of climate ambition,” she added.

The incident puts this pressure on pressure all the more since some criticize him for not doing enough against climate change. “I am worried about the World Bank,” said Joseph Stiglitz on Monday, questioned by the France-Presse agency. “On major issues, such as global warming, she has not taken over the operations that the world would need,” he said.

The political profile of M. Malpass is no stranger to the attention he is the subject of climatic issues. Republican and under-secretary to the Treasury of ex-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, resigned.

/Media reports.