David Malpass, a prominent conservative economist, was asked at a conference in New York sponsored by the New York Times whether he agrees that the “manmade burning of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet.” “I don’t even know. I’m not a scientist and that’s not a question,” Malpass said. This refusal to recite the catechism of climate change swiftly prompted calls for him to resign or for President Joe Biden to oust Malpass, according to a report from Reuters. Climate change pressure groups and activists, largely European-based, went on the attack. Malpass served in the Trump, Reagan, and first Bush administrations. He was chief economist at Bear Stearns from 1993 to 2008. Malpass was appointed to head the World Bank by President Donald Trump and unanimously approved by the board.
The U.S. is the largest shareholder of the World Bank and traditionally has appointed its President. His five-year term of office is set to last through the spring of 2024.
The left, including many in the Biden administration, has been seeking ways to force Malpass out for over a year. He is regarded as an uncooperative “holdover” from the Trump. Under his leadership, the World Bank has rebuffed calls for the institution to stop financing fossil fuel projects. Last year, over 70 non-governmental organizations issued a joint demand for Malpass to be replaced for not submitting to their demands for an end to fossil fuel financing, Reuters reported. On Tuesday, former Vice President Al Gore, now a far-left climate activist, said that “we need to get rid of that leadership” and called for the Biden administration to“put new leadership in.” He went on to say “is ridiculous to have a climate denier the head of the World Bank.” “I’m not a denier,” Malpass said in a CNN interview on Thursday. “I don’t know the political motivations behind that. It’s clear that greenhouse gas emissions are coming from manmade sources, including fossil fuels, methane, agricultural uses and industrial uses. And so we’re working hard to change that,” Malpass said. He went on to say that those emissions were “clearly” contributing to climate change.
These statements to not seem to have pacified those seeking his ouster. Axios reported on Friday that Biden officials have considered trying to force Malpass out, citing people familiar with the matter. “But officials know that replacing Malpass would be a messy process and they are unsure how — or even if — the U.S. can orchestrate his ouster,” Axios reported. “Some Biden officials have gone as far as gaming out potential replacements — including Gore and former Secretary of State John Kerry, who is now Biden’s climate envoy. Biden’s thinking isn’t known.” The irony of calling for an end to fossil fuel financing while Europe is on the edge of an economic crisis because of the lack of funding for oil and natural gas infrastructure, and the U.S. economy is still reeling from record high gasoline prices, is lost on Malpass’ critics. Update: Malpass said on Friday that he will not resign from his poast.
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