Following World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s decision to step down from his role three years before the end of his term, attention is focusing on whether US President Donald Trump will use the vacancy to appoint a new leader in line with his policies.
After Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris agreement, it would be unsurprising to see him replace climate-conscious Kim with somebody who shares his pro-fossil fuel views.
Myron Ebell, an analyst with the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, said: “I have been disappointed that the Trump administration has been slow to challenge the anti-fossil-fuel policies of the World Bank. Now that Dr Kim has resigned or been forced to resign, I hope the administration will insist that the next president be someone who has publicly advocated overturning these policies.”
Having been appointed in 2012 by President Obama, and again in 2017, Kim’s departure comes three years before the end of his term, set to end in 2022.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump had been reported to be in the running for the position, but this was quickly rebuffed by the US administration. She will however, “help manage the U.S. nomination process as she’s worked closely with the World Bank’s leadership for the past two years,” White House spokeswoman Jessica Ditto said in a statement.
The US President has continued his campaign pledges to support the US energy industry touting the use of America’s booming energy sector at key international events, including the UN General Assembly in September last year.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has cut back on financing coal-fired power plants, instead pushing forward a less cost-effective green strategy.
Trump will have a significant level of influence over choosing Kim’s successor, as the US holds a controlling share of the World Bank’s voting rights and has traditionally chosen the bank’s president.
With regards to Trump’s nominee, Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: “I think it will certainly lead to a shift in focus and hopefully a return to proper cost-effective policies that are actually looking at the costs and benefits rather than the ideology.
“Otherwise,” he said, “developing countries will continue to suffer.”