World Bank chief predicts climate push can survive Trump

World Bank chief predicts climate push can survive Trump

Former President Donald Trump may be hostile toward clean energy policy, but World Bank President Ajay Banga believes the push to help developing countries deal with climate change could survive his reelection.

Banga, the former Mastercard CEO whom President Joe Biden nominated for the position last year, is expanding the World Bank’s climate portfolio. The bank lends to developing countries and provides them with other assistance.

Banga recently announced that the World Bank is increasing the percentage of its financing devoted to climate-related projects, and he’s encouraging the private sector to invest more in renewable energy.

Asked whether Trump’s potential reelection would derail the bank’s climate agenda, Banga in an interview pointed to broader international momentum.

“There’s kind of a consensus at the G20, which is much bigger than just the U.S. and the EU,” he said. “There’s a consensus even in the Global South, which I didn’t read about five years ago.”

Banga, who did not name Trump in the interview, still acknowledged that a change in U.S. leadership would have some impact.

The U.S. is the largest shareholder of the bank, which receives financial support from member countries. It’s customary that the U.S. selects World Bank leaders. Banga’s Trump-nominated predecessor, David Malpass, came under fire toward the end of his tenure because of comments that appeared to cast doubt on climate science.

“Yes, would a particular leader in the world’s largest country, the most rich country in the world, the most powerful country in the world, would his or her views have a tangible impact? Absolutely,” Banga said. “And we’ll have to deal with it, depending on who becomes president and whichever way they approach it. I’m not naïve about that. I’m just saying I think the world’s in a slightly different place than it was five years ago.”

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