‘No room for climate deniers!’ CSOs call for World Bank President David Malpass to be fired


September 21, 2022

“No place for climate deniers!” CSOs call for the sacking of World Bank President David Malpass

Press contacts:

Sophie Richmond, srichmond [at] climatenetwork.org
Bronwen Tucker, brown [at] priceofoil.org
Shaye Skiff, kskiff[on[foeorg[at[foeorg[auf[foeorg[at[foeorg

New York-City Climate protection organizations under the Big Shift Coalition have called on the World Bank to fire its President, David Malpass. In a panel discussion at a New York Times event yesterday, Malpass refused to support climate science and was branded as “climate deniers‘ by former US Vice President Al Gore. Malpass was asked three times if he believed man-made emissions from fossil fuels contributed to climate change, and after several attempts to dodge the questions, he finally responded, “I’m not a scientist.”

Last year over 70 groups from all over the world sent a letter to the governors and executive directors of the World Bank who called on David Malpass to be fired for his failure to address climate change. A World Bank official wrote a scathing remark opinion piece that Malpass “has neither the vision nor the credibility to make the World Bank the climate leader”. The UN Secretary-General’s climate adviser singled out the World Bank for “below average for the climate“. Al Gore said in one interview told the Financial Times that the World Bank is “missing in action” and “needs new climate leadership.” According to insider reports verified by the Financial Times, Malpass played a direct role block ambition the joint MDB announcement on climate finance at COP26.

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Constituents of the Big Shift Coalition issued the following quotes in response:

Bronwen Tucker of Oil Change International: “The World Bank Group still finances more fossil fuels than any other MDB, and it continues to tie countries of the Global South to expensive and volatile fossil fuel contracts through its cumbersome political lending programs. Now we know why. With Malpass at the helm, the World Bank Group cannot be trusted as a partner for sustainable development.”

Dean Bhekumuzi Bhebhe of Power Shift Africa: “World Bank investments in Africa continue to amplify the impact of the climate crisis on communities across the continent. There is no time for climate denial. The World Bank must act now to end fossil fuel financing and invest in sustainable, renewable energy for all. It is crucial that Africa attracts more investment to leapfrog dirty energy and become a green leader, not just a victim of the climate emergency.”

“The World Bank must not be run by a climate denier, and President Biden should call on the bank’s board of directors to fire him immediately.” said Luisa Galvao of Friends of the Earth USA. “The old agreement in which the United States nominates bank presidents must also end. We need democratic and globally just governance.”

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Fran Witt from Regress: “Our partners around the world are suffering the catastrophic consequences of climate change”. “Scientists agree that climate change was caused by the unchecked burning of fossil fuels, and there is general agreement that climate action means drastically reducing carbon emissions. But the World Bank Group cannot align its portfolio with the Paris Agreement target of keeping global warming below 1.5°C when a climate change denier is at the helm! Malpass has to go!”

Sonia Dunlop, program manager for MDBs and public banks and climate change think tank E3G: “That’s a step too far. It’s time for the White House and governments around the world to think hard about who they want at the helm of the World Bank. The World Bank plays a crucial role in the global fight against climate change. You don’t have to be a scientist to understand climate science. The facts are clear and there is no alternative but to act.”

Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network: “A self-proclaimed climate denier at the helm of the World Bank at this stage of the climate emergency is inexcusable! The World Bank continues to use public money to fund fossil fuel projects in countries in the Global South, where people are already suffering the worst effects of climate change. In order for the World Bank to maintain even a shred of decency, Malpass cannot remain President.”

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Heike Mainhardt, Senior Advisor at Urgewald: “Given Malpass’s denial of the climate crisis, it’s no wonder the World Bank provides more financing, tax breaks and higher tariffs in favor of fossil fuels than any other public development bank. We stand with UN leadership and call on World Bank shareholders to step in – to stop World Bank public funding of fossil fuels.”

Elaine Zuckerman, Gender Action: “While civil society pressured the World Bank to recognize the deleterious effects of climate change on all humankind, including its uneven gender, geographic and class divides, to eliminate direct but not indirect financing of fossil fuels and to allow some renewable energy projects finance, Malpass persistently denies that climate change is man-made and saves our planet from climate destruction.”

David Ryfisch, Team Leader International Climate Policy at Germanwatch: We urgently need more climate protection measures from the World Bank. This is only possible if management is on board. This is clearly not the case. There is no time to convince President Malpass of climate science if he has not yet understood it. Shareholders – including Germany – must make it clear that it is not acceptable for the President of the World Bank to deny man-made climate change.


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