Malpass, speaking at an event hosted by Politico on Friday, said he was “really unprepared” for Tuesday’s questioning, when former Vice President Al Gore called Malpass a “climate denier” and Malpass said he was “not a scientist.” .

Read more: World Bank chief hits back at Gor, saying he’s not a climate denier

“It was an unfortunate line,” the World Bank chief said on Friday. “I regret that because as an organization we use science every day to find the most effective projects.” Malpass said he would be happy to meet with climate scientists to educate them on the issue.

Asked about his meetings with representatives of World Bank member countries since Tuesday’s incident, Malpass said “no one” had asked him to leave.

Malpass, 66, who was nominated in 2019 by then-President Donald Trump, has been on damage control since that event. His remarks raised eyebrows in the Biden administration and prompted fresh criticism of both the bank and its manager. Environmental activists have already called on the World Bank and other multilateral lenders, including the International Monetary Fund, to do more to accelerate clean energy ventures and stop funding fossil fuel projects.

In an interview with CNN International on Thursday, Malpass said “it’s clear that greenhouse gas emissions are coming from man-made sources.” He also sent a message to World Bank staff, seen by Bloomberg, that said “dramatic increases in the use of coal, diesel and fuel oil in both advanced and developing economies are creating another wave of climate crisis.”

He repeated those messages on Friday.

“It’s clear that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are increasing and causing climate change,” Malpas said at the Politico event. “And so the challenge for us, for the world, is to bring together projects and funding that really have an impact.”

On Friday, the Union of Concerned Scientists called for Malpass to be replaced immediately.

“The World Bank is a critical institution serving low-income countries,” said UCS President Johanna Chao Kreylik. “People living in the Global South deserve a World Bank run by a tough climate advocate, not someone who hasn’t spent enough time with the Bank’s team of scientists and experts to understand the basic facts about the causes of climate change. .”

Malpass said the World Bank is “by far the leading financier of climate action in developing countries,” with the lender committing $32 billion in climate-related financing in fiscal year 2022.

The transition from coal-fired power to renewables involves multi-year plans in which workers need to be retrained and land needs to be repurposed, he said, adding that the bank is “leading the world” in the process.

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