Policy

House Democrats demand resignation of World Bank chief over climate remarks

Associated Press/Issei Kato
FILE – 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, Sept. 13, 2022. Malpass said Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, that he will not resign after coming under criticism for his remarks earlier this week regarding climate change. (Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Twenty-seven House Democrats have joined a growing chorus of voices calling for the resignation of World Bank chief David Malpass after he made comments that critics say smacked of climate denial.

In a letter sent Thursday to President Biden, representatives Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Sean Casten (D-Ill.) and 25 other Democrats said Malpass’s recent comments were both “troubling” and “unacceptable” and that the World Bank should have a “leader who listens to the science and is a global leader in combating climate change.”

“We urge you to advocate for the removal or forced resignation of David Malpass as World Bank Group President. The facts are clear that we are in a climate crisis and there’s no alternative but to take bold action,” the lawmakers wrote.

At an event during U.N. high-level week in New York, Malpass was asked whether he agreed with the scientific consensus that the “manmade burning of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet.”

“I don’t even know. I’m not a scientist,” Malpass said in response.

His remarks prompted an outcry from environmentalists including Al Gore, who called Malpass a “climate denier.”

The World Bank chief later tried to restate his position in a subsequent interview with CNN International, saying he believed that greenhouse gas emissions are coming from man-made sources that include fossil fuels.

“It is unacceptable for David Malpass, as President for this leading international development institution to be so brazenly ignorant toward the impacts of the climate crisis,” the lawmakers wrote to President Biden.

“We need a World Bank Group leader who fully appreciates the threat of climate change and the need to accelerate the global transition to a clean just energy future to improve living standards, reduce poverty, and encourage sustainable growth.”

The Democrats argued that the U.S. should make investments in more environmentally friendly sources of energy and use its influence to pursue this goal in international institutions.

“The United States is the largest shareholder in the World Bank, and our influence can determine the direction of their investments for years to come. The United States has significant influence to push the institutions to end their support for fossil fuel investments and significantly increase the quality and quantity of their climate finance,” they wrote. 

Tags Al Gore Al Gore Biden Climate change CNN David Malpass David Malpass fossil fuels Jared Huffman Sean Casten Sean Casten World Bank
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