The United States nominated Ajay Banga, a private equity vice chairman and former corporate executive, to be the next president of the World Bank on Thursday. Other countries could nominate candidates, but the U.S. traditionally picks the Bank’s leader. Current World Bank president David Malpass, picked by the previous administration, is stepping down a year early following what the New York Times described as a “slow-motion public relations crisis” over his refusal to acknowledge the unequivocal scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels is causing global warming. Pressure is also mounting on the World Bank and other international debt holders to alleviate and even forgive the debt burden of the Global South β€” a major barrier to those countries’ ability to address the climate crisis. Banga advanced efforts to address climate change while he was CEO of Mastercard. Al Gore praised the pick while Greenpeace USA criticized it. The Biden administration is “not tapping a climate expert per se, they are tapping someone who can help them with climate finance,” Scott Morris, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, told the New York Times. β€œIt sends a pretty clear signal that the U.S. wants to look at the bank as a bank.” (New York Times $, AP, Washington Post $, BBC, The Guardian, Axios, Reuters, Wall Street Journal $, Quartz, The Hill, CNN, CBS, Politico, New York Post, USA Today, Climate Home, Al Jazeera, FT $, Bloomberg $, Times of India)