White House ‘disagrees’ with World Bank president who dodged climate question

Karine Jean-Pierre says the White House ‘disagrees’ with World Bank president who dodged question on human causes of climate change but REFUSES to say Biden has confidence in him

  • David Malpass dodged a question at NY forum when asked whether ‘manmade burning of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet’
  • He replied: ‘I don’t even know. I’m not a scientist’ 
  • Donald Trump appointed Malpass to his term in 2019 
  • Climate groups called for him to resign as the remark circulated online
  • Then he said humans WERE causing climate change, saying ‘I’m not a denier’
  • Biden officials are considering pushing him out, Axios reported
  • Potential replacements include John Kerry, Al Gore, former USAID head Raj Shah 
  • The White House did not knock down the report, and declined to say President Biden had confidence in Malpass

Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that the White House ‘disagrees’ with World Bank President David Malpass over his comments that dodged a question about human causes of climate change.

The White House press secretary made the comment at her daily press briefing, following a report that members of the Biden Administration are considering a move to try to force out the Trump-nominated official – a report she declined to explicitly confirm or deny.

She also declined to say President Joe Biden has confidence in Malpass, and even pointed to the challenges of removing him. 

‘We disagree with the comments made by President Malpass. We expect the World Bank to be a global leader on climate emission,’ she said. 

She said the Treasury Department, which oversees US interactions with global lending institutions, ‘has and will continue to make that expectation clear to the World Bank leadership.’

'We disagree with the comments made by President Malpass,' White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in reference to comments by the World Bank president who dodged a question on whether human-caused carbon emissions were behind climate change

‘We disagree with the comments made by President Malpass,’ White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in reference to comments by the World Bank president who dodged a question on whether human-caused carbon emissions were behind climate change

When a questioner noted she stopped short of saying Biden had confidence in him, Jean-Pierre replied: ‘Removing you requires a majority of shareholders. So that’s something to keep in mind. The US believes the world must be a full partner in delivering on the aggressive global climate agenda, poverty reduction and sustainable development … But again, removal would require majority of stakeholders. It is a partnership.’

She was referring to the Bank’s board of executive directors, which has the power of removal. 

Malpass has been under fire since the official, nominated by Trump in 2019, fielded a question this week at a climate forum about whether ‘manmade burning of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet.’

Malpass’ initial response was: ‘I don’t even know. I’m not a scientist and that is not a question.’ He was appearing at a New York Times event at Climate Week in New York.

Administration officials are ‘deeply concerned’ by the comments and are considering moves to oust him, according to Axios

It comes at a time when the Biden Administration is making climate change a top priority, with the newly enacted Inflation Adjustment Act shoveling $375 billion at climate initiatives.

World Bank President David Malpass wouldn't directly answer a question about whether 'manmade burning of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet.' Now Biden officials are considering trying to oust him, according to a report

World Bank President David Malpass wouldn’t directly answer a question about whether ‘manmade burning of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet.’ Now Biden officials are considering trying to oust him, according to a report

He wouldn’t answer when moderator and Times reporter David Gelles twice asked him: ‘Will you answer the question?’

It was prompted by former Vice President Al Gore calling Malpass a ‘climate denier.’

Later, in an attempted cleanup operation on CNN‘, Malpass denied the charge. He said he was ‘not a denier,’ and told the network: ‘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.

He also sought offered a new excuse: ‘I don’t always do the best job in answering the questions or hearing what the questions are.’

Trump nominated Malpass, then a Treasury official, to the post in 2019

Trump nominated Malpass, then a Treasury official, to the post in 2019

Malpass, seen here with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at the Treasury Department, said he is 'not a denier,' although a 2010 report indicated he did not believe carbon from human activity was warming the planet

Malpass, seen here with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at the Treasury Department, said he is ‘not a denier,’ although a 2010 report indicated he did not believe carbon from human activity was warming the planet

President Joe Biden signed a new law that will steer billions to climate programs including those to boost electric vehicle production

President Joe Biden signed a new law that will steer billions to climate programs including those to boost electric vehicle production

Trump nominated Malpass to lead the World Bank after his longstanding criticisms of the international lending institution. 

Back in 2010, Malpass said he did not believe carbon from human activity was warming the planet, the New York Times reported at the time. 

He serves a five-year term and was confirmed by a Bank executive board. 

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