After earlier declining to say whether he accepts the scientific consensus on global warming, World Bank president David Malpass now says it is clear greenhouse emissions are causing climate change, defending his record as bank chief amid calls for his removal from the position.
His views had drawn scrutiny earlier in the week after he refused to say during a public event whether he believed fossil-fuel burning was warming the planet.
His remarks at a climate event hosted by the New York Times on Tuesday also rekindled concerns about the bank’s lack of a deadline to stop funding fossil fuels.
Speaking onstage during a panel on climate finance, Mr Malpass was asked several times whether he believed the “man-made burning of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet”.
He tried to dodge the question before saying: “I don’t even know. I’m not a scientist”.
Mr Malpass sought to clarify his views on Thursday in a note to staff and an interview on CNN International, during which he was asked outright if he was a climate change denier.
“I’m not a denier,” Mr Malpass told CNN International.
“It’s clear that greenhouse gas emissions are coming from man-made sources, including fossil fuels, methane, the agricultural uses, the industrial uses, so we’re working hard to change that,” he said.
Mr Malpass has long faced criticism from climate advocates, who renewed calls for US President Joe Biden to replace him before his five-year term ends in 2024.
He was nominated to the position by former president Donald Trump in 2019, under the longstanding tradition that allows the US to choose the head of the World Bank and European governments to pick the head of the International Monetary Fund. (ABC)