During one of the most important weeks to get things done for the United Nations—a week that coincides with Climate Week NYC—the head of the World Bank blew it big time. Trump-appointed World Bank Group President David Malpass, who has until 2024 to finish out his term, somehow decided it was a good idea to reveal his climate denialism on Tuesday.
During a New York Times event with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and Bahamas Finance Minister Philip Davis, Malpass said he’s “not a scientist,” and refused to answer whether he accepts “the scientific consensus that the man-made burning of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet.” New York Times climate reporter David Gelles described the experience in a Twitter thread.
Malpass insisted over and over that the World Bank was doing the work to fight the climate crisis, though his critics beg to differ.
During an interview Thursday with CNN, Malpass said he’s “not a denier,” despite his Tuesday comments. “It's clear that greenhouse gas emissions are coming from manmade sources, including fossil fuels, methane, agricultural uses, and industrial uses,” Malpass said during his appearance. “And so we're working hard to change that.”
It should come as no surprise that a former JPMorgan and Bear Stearns worker wouldn’t necessarily have the savviest views on climate, much less how the World Bank invests in climate solutions. After all, look at what the big banks had to say yesterday.