New World Bank President Ajay Banga Leads at a Pivotal Moment

In his message to staff, Mr. Banga defined the bank’s mission as aspiring to “create a world free from poverty on a livable planet.”

It is the second part of that mission by which Mr. Banga will be likely be judged.

Mr. Malpass left the job a year early after failing to sufficiently demonstrate his commitment to combating global warming amid a renewed emphasis from the Biden administration broadening the bank’s focus on the environment.

However, Mr. Banga, a former chief executive of Mastercard, does not bring extensive climate credentials to the job and will be under pressure to demonstrate progress on the bank’s environmental agenda. He has described the tasks of dealing with climate change and poverty as intertwined.

“The World Bank’s challenge is clear: It must pursue both climate adaptation and mitigation; it must reach out to lower-income countries without turning its back on middle-income countries; it must think globally but recognize national and regional needs; it must embrace risk but do so prudently,” Mr. Banga wrote in a statement to World Bank’s executive board that accompanied his memo to staff.

Comments are closed.