World Bank Leader, Accused of Climate Denial, Offers a New Response – The New York Times

by | Sep 22, 2022 | Climate Change

David Malpass catapulted onto the international stage three years ago when he was nominated by President Donald J. Trump to become president of the World Bank. He was charged with improving the economies of poor nations, many of which are being battered by extreme weather fueled by climate change.Yet Mr. Malpass barely spoke of global warming, careful not to rankle Mr. Trump, who famously called climate change a “hoax” and pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.This week, Mr. Malpass’s refusal to acknowledge that the burning of fossil fuels is rapidly warming the planet exposed a debate inside and outside of the institution about whether the bank is doing enough to help nations that are now struggling with devastating floods, heat, drought and other impacts, and whether its financing of new oil and gas projects is exacerbating the problem.Jochen Flasbarth, a senior economic official in Germany and one of the bank’s directors, said on Twitter “We are concerned about this confusing signals about scientific evidence of #climatechange from the top of ⁦@WorldBank.”The uproar began on Tuesday when Mr. Malpass refused to say during a public event at The New York Times whether the burning of oil, gas and coal was driving climate change.Speaking onstage during a discussion about what industrialized nations owe developing nations grappling with climate problems, Mr. Malpass was asked to respond to a remark made earlier in the day by former Vice President Al Gore, who called the World Bank president a “climate denier.” Pressed three times, Mr. Malpass would not say whether he accepted that man-made greenhouse gas emissions …

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