Departing World Bank chief leaves climate job unfinished

(Climate Change News, 9 Jan 2019) Jim Kim reformed world’s largest development lender, but it continues to finance fossil fuels and his climate legacy could be challenged if the US chooses his successor.

By deciding to resign as head of the World Bank, Jim Kim is leaving the job of decarbonising development unfinished, experts told Climate Home News.

Jim Kim revealed his decision to quit his position on Monday, signing off more than three years before the end of his term in 2022. He will join private equity firm Global Investment Fund on 1 February, the firm announced on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, Kim sent a letter to bank staff that said: “I’ve concluded that this is the path through which I will be able to make the largest impact on major global issues like climate change and the infrastructure deficit in emerging markets.”

Experts working in development finance paid tribute to the most active president on climate change in the World Bank’s history. Kim will be remembered by many for pulling the plug on many fossil-fuel projects, not least coal. In 2013, the bank said it would only lend to new coal plants in “exceptional circumstances”.

In 2017 the bank announced that it would stop financing upstream oil and gas by 2019, and went on to develop internal carbon pricing mechanisms for project assessments. It then pledged to double its investments in low-carbon investment projects in the next five years at the UN climate conference in December, taking the budget to $200 billion.

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Climate Change News, 9 Jan 2019: Departing World Bank chief leaves climate job unfinished