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Climate activists demand World Bank President Malpass resign

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Brussels, Sep 22: Climate activists are calling for the resignation of World Bank President David Malpass after he failed to state that he accepts the scientific consensus on climate change.

Malpass refused several times to answer the question of whether he believed in man-made climate change, raising doubts about the bank's lack of commitment to stop funding fossil fuels and to instead engage in measures to limit climate change — or to support countries dealing with loss and damages.

World Bank President David Malpass

Journalist David Gelles asked Malpass to respond to an allegation by former US vice president Al Gore, claiming that he was a climate denier. To which Malpass responded that some critics might be unaware of "what the World Bank is doing."

He went on to state that the World Bank's climate funding was "by far the biggest" of any international financial institution.

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After several failed attempts to get a straight answer, Gelles said: "Let me just be as clear as I can: Do you accept the scientific consensus that the man-made burning of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet?"

When Malpass tried to divert from the question again, multiple people in the audience shouted: "Answer the question!"

He responded: "I don't even know. I'm not a scientist."

Former climate diplomats and civil society groups criticized the remarks heavily and called for US President Joe Biden to replace Malpass. The World Bank president is traditionally appointed by the president of the United States, as the country is its largest shareholder. It was former president Donald Trump who had appointed Malpass in 2019, granting him a five-year term.

Source: DW

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