Updated Sep 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

World Bank president declines calls to step down

David Malpass, President, The World Bank Group, speaks on stage during The 2022 Concordia Annual Summit
President of the World Bank David Malpass. Photo: Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

World Bank President David Malpass said Friday that he will not resign, less than one day after Axios reported that Biden administration officials may try to oust him.

The big picture: Malpass apologized for remarks he made this week when he would not answer whether climate change was caused by humans. "I don't know — I'm not a scientist," he said during the event, sparking international furor.

What he's saying: "When asked, 'Are you a climate denier?’ I should’ve said no," Malpass, a Trump holdover, said Friday during a virtual conversation with a Politico author, the outlet reports.

  • “It was a poorly chosen line, I regret that, because we as an organization are using the science every day."
  • "That wasn’t a good phrase for me to use,” Malpass said. “We have a lot of input from our global scientific community."
  • He also said that he would "absolutely" accept training from climate scientists, per Politico.

State of play: Malpass' refusal this week to acknowledge that fossil fuels were warming the planet sparked international calls for his resignation.

  • For Biden administration officials who already were suspicious of his positions on climate change, Malpass' remarks added fuel to their desire to remove him, Nichols notes.
  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a news conference Friday that the Biden administration disagrees with Malpass' comments and expects the World Bank "to be a global leader of climate ambition and mobilization."

Go deeper... Trump’s World Bank head speaks out on climate change, inequality

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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