Friday, March 3, 2023

Economic development cannot coexist with disregard for the environment: US nominee for the World Bank Ajay Banga

You cannot have economic prosperity without caring about nature: US's World Bank nominee Ajay Banga

WASHINGTON: Ajay Banga, an Indian-American who is being considered by President Joe Biden to lead the World Bank, has stated that the organization needs to change its structure in order to continue addressing "intertwined" challenges posed by climate change while also working to reduce poverty and inequality.

In addition, the former CEO of Mastercard revealed to reporters at the US Treasury Department that he intends to travel to Europe, Asia, Africa, and possibly Latin America in the upcoming weeks to hear from donor nations and borrowers about the difficulties the global institution is facing.

Banga stated, "This is our new world, and you cannot have economic prosperity without caring about nature, pandemics, fragility, and food availability." You must comprehend that the difficulties are numerous and multipolar."

Biden named Banga to lead the World Bank last week, hoping that the Indian-born executive's connections to the private sector and decades of experience in emerging markets will give a U.S.-led effort to revamp the 77-year-old institution to better address climate change new life.

After months of controversy sparked by his initial refusal to say if he accepted the scientific consensus on climate change and escalating pressure from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for him to adopt "bolder and more imaginative" reforms at the bank, Banga, 63, would take over as president. Malpass announced his resignation last month. Banga would succeed Malpass.

During his 12-year tenure, Banga oversaw the growth of Mastercard's market capitalization from $20 billion to $360 billion. He said he had already received support from India, Ghana, and Kenya, but he wanted to visit as many countries as "as logistically possible" over the next three weeks to learn about their priorities and concerns.

If there aren't any last-minute objections, Biden's selection of Banga, who is already a citizen of the United States, almost guarantees that he will be in charge of overseeing billions of dollars' worth of funding for developing nations. Since the World Bank was established at the end of World War II, every president has been chosen by the United States, the lender's largest shareholder.

When asked about a push led by the United States to increase the bank's lending capacity and stretch its balance sheet, Banga stated that the bank must "do all it can" to implement recommendations made by an independent commission last year for the Group of 20 major economies while maintaining the bank's AAA credit rating. 

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