WASHINGTON (AP) — The US has named former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga as its leader. world bankPresident Joe Biden announced on Thursday, giving him important experience on global challenges, including climate change.
The news comes days after Trump’s appointment of David Malpass announced his intention to resign In June, he stepped down from his role as head of poverty reduction agencies in 189 countries. His five-year term in office he was due to expire in April 2024.
Addressing the impacts of climate change in multilateral banking is a priority for the United States, Key climate figures He is urging the Biden administration to use Malpass’s early retirement as a catalyst for a reassessment of strong financial institutions. climate change.
Malpass was criticized last year for comments at a conference that appeared to question the science that burning fossil fuels causes global warming. he later apologized he said he made a mistakenote that banks routinely rely on climate science.
The current Vice Chairman of the private equity firm General Atlantic, Banga has more than 30 years of business experience and has held various roles on the boards of Mastercard, American Red Cross, Kraft Foods and Dow Inc. He was named president of the World Bank.
“Ajay has the unique ability to lead the World Bank at this pivotal moment in history,” Biden said in a statement, while Banga said, “The most urgent challenges of our time, including climate change.” We have significant experience in mobilizing public and private resources to meet challenges.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement that Banga’s experience “will help the World Bank achieve its goals of ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity.” emission reduction. ”
Mr. Biden’s special climate envoy, John Kelly, said on Twitter that Mr. Banga was “the right choice.”
“He will help reduce global emissions and deploy the significant finance needed for developing and vulnerable countries to adapt, build resilience and mitigate the impact of greenhouse gases. We can help introduce new policies that work,” Kelly tweeted.
The United States has traditionally elected the president of the World Bank. responsible for its sister institution, International Monetary Fund, traditionally came from Europe. Critics, however, are calling for that arrangement to end and for developing countries to gain a greater say in the two organizations.
The World Bank has pledged to implement an “open, performance-based and transparent selection process” and said it will accept nominations through March 29.
Eric Lecompte, executive director of the Anti-Poverty Coalition Jubilee USA Network, said the United States was “trying to nominate people to be helped from developing countries” and that Banga’s origin in India was “incredibly relevant.” there was,” he said. “They want to be able to appoint people who have experience and roots in other economies,” said Lecompto.
“I can’t think of a more intense time for people to get this job,” said Clemens Landers, a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, a Washington think tank.
Banks are under pressure to expand their mandates, which will likely require the next president to persuade donor countries to give more money.
Critics say banks should do more to finance projects to address and prepare for climate change without burdening poor countries with heavy debt burdens. Landers also said a better job needs to be done to address cross-border issues, such as providing pandemic surveillance and supporting broader vaccination programs.
Ellen Knickmeyer and Paul Wiseman contributed to this story.
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