World Bank President David Malpass surprisingly announced his resignation. Malpass will step down at the end of the fiscal year at the end of June, the Washington-based development bank announced on Wednesday. After "a lot of progress and careful consideration, he wants to face new challenges," the statement said.
The resignation comes about a year before the regular end of the World Bank chief's term of office. Malpass was heavily criticized for his statements on climate change. He has been accused of being a climate crisis denier.
Svenja Schulze: Statements are "irritating"
In September, the US economist dodged questions about whether burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming. Instead, the head of the World Bank said: "I'm not a scientist." This brought him a lot of criticism, including from the White House and from Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD). Schulze described the statements at the time as "irritating". Malpass later appealed for damage control and said he regretted his choice of words.
Malpass came into office in 2019 during the tenure of former US President Donald Trump at his suggestion. He was appointed for five years. In the past, Trump has repeatedly doubted whether climate change is man-made - such doubts have been scientifically refuted.
The World Bank lends money to poor countries on favorable terms with the aim of strengthening their economy and reducing poverty there. The organization is supported by 189 countries worldwide.