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World Bank President to Resign Early Amid Backlash to Climate Crisis Denial

HeadlineFeb 16, 2023

World Bank President David Malpass said Wednesday he will resign his post by the end of June, nearly a year before his five-year term is set to expire. Malpass was nominated to head the World Bank in 2019 by then-President Donald Trump. He previously served as chief economist at Bear Stearns for the six years leading up to the investment bank’s collapse at the start of the Great Recession in 2008. Last September, Malpass came under increased pressure from the Biden administration to resign, after he fumbled his answer to this question from David Gelles, The New York Times’s climate reporter.

David Gelles: “Vice President Gore was here earlier today, and I don’t know if you heard, but he referred to you in his remarks publicly on stage here as a climate denier. Would you clear the air? Do you accept the scientific consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is dangerously warming the planet?”

David Malpass: “You know, and some of the — I don’t know all of the — all of the instances that you’re talking about. I’ve been very pleased to have super strong U.S. government support across the board on the initiatives that we’ve been taking. Some people that are critical, I think, are unfounded. They may not know what the World Bank is doing.”

In a statement, the climate justice group Oil Change International said, “The World Bank Group still funds more fossil fuels than any other multilateral development bank. Ending this support for oil, gas and coal needs to be priority number one in the next six weeks ahead of the Bank’s Spring Meetings.”

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