Leftwing Climate Extremism Still Wants Control of Finance

The danger of the idea that financial institutions should impose the climate change agenda on the global left was highlighted by three events this week.

We witnessed the angry reaction when World Bank chief David Malpass refused to immediately swear an oath of allegiance to the left’s position on climate change. At a panel in New York City, Malpass was asked if he agreed that “man-made burning of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming the planet.” Malpass responded by saying, “I don’t even know. I’m not a scientist. This is not a question.”

This set off an international firestorm. The usual suspects of “non-governmental organizations” – typically advocacy groups for the transfer of money and authority into government hands – and activists were soon demanding Malpass’s head. Al Gore announced that it was “ridiculous to have a climate denier at the helm of the World Bank”. Axios reported that Biden administration officials plan to oust Malpass, whose five-year term doesn’t expire until 2024.

World Bank President David Malpass speaks during a media briefing ahead of the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings April 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In reality, it is the campaign against Malpass that is ridiculous. As the World Bank pointed out after climate extremists began whimpering for blood: “Under the leadership of David Malpass, the World Bank Group doubled its climate funding, released an ambitious climate change action plan and initiated country-level diagnostics to assess countries’ climate and climate policies to support development goals.” Malpass clarified his comments later in the week, saying he is not a “denier” and agrees that “greenhouse gas emissions come from man-made sources, including fossil fuels, methane, agricultural and industrial uses.” He also said, that he agrees that these emissions contribute to climate change.

This hasn’t satisfied his critics for the obvious reason that they weren’t particularly upset by his recent remarks. Last year, a group of 70 pressure groups collectively called for his removal. The heart of the matter is that Malpass refuses to respond to her demands that the World Bank phase out all fossil fuel financing. Malpass would have been better served directly taking on the Left’s campaign to regulate climate change through the financial system. He could have replied that he does not comment on the causes of climate change because this is not within the World Bank’s remit. If lawmakers and world leaders want to phase out fossil fuel funding, they are free to do so, and the World Bank would respect those decisions. It is not the job of the World Bank to tackle climate change, he should have said.

Likewise, it is not the job of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to address climate change. Along with the FDIC and the Federal Reserve, the OCC is one of the most important banking regulators in America. However, absurdly, it has an office tasked with assessing “climate change risk”. The reason is that the Biden administration has adopted the view of left-wing academics that regulators should ban fossil fuel financing under the guise that it put banks at risk of losses once the US is forced to reject energy that produces emissions who are accused of contributing to climate change.

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Climate change activists protest outside Standard Chartered’s headquarters against funding for fossil fuel projects in London, United Kingdom, October 29, 2021. (Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Of course, moving away from fossil fuels is not inevitable. This is one option among many to counteract climate change. It is not one that has been incorporated into United States law or regulation. There is no consensus among Americans that this should be a goal, and there has been almost no public deliberation on the matter. Even among those who agree that climate change poses serious challenges that require changes in the way we generate energy, there is no logical need to agree that moving away from fossil fuels is the required response. Americans might even conclude that the cost of moving away from fossil fuels is likely to be greater than the cost of developing new technologies to reduce their emissions or adapt to a world with a changing climate.

Lawmakers have twice rejected the view that financial regulators should impose a climate change agenda on the banking system. The first time was last fall, when the government failed to garner support for the appointment of Saule Omarova to the post of auditor and was forced to withdraw her appointment. The left-wing law professor had campaigned for abolishing private banking and treating all companies as US government franchises. She had said that bankrupt small oil and gas companies should be welcomed, a statement she later recanted but only after it became clear it was an obstacle to her confirmation.

Next came the rejection of Sarah Bloom Raskin’s nomination for the Federal Reserve. Raskin is one of the most prominent proponents of using the concept of “transitional risk” to force banks out of fossil fuel financing. Fortunately, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and all Republican senators recognized that regulating the climate through the attitude of banking regulators was a bad idea.

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Sarah Bloom Raskin, Vice-Chairman-nominee for Oversight and member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, is sworn in during a Senate confirmation hearing February 3, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Bill Clark-Pool/Getty Images)

That didn’t stop the Biden administration from appointing a China-trained ESG advocate as the OCC’s chief climate risk officer. This is not a position subject to Senate confirmation, so her appointment cannot be denied by the legislature. But that shouldn’t stop Republicans and Democrats, concerned about the government’s overreach and undermining of this radical policy of climate regulation with financial regulation, from questioning the government about this appointment and the existence of this office. The Biden administration, led by radical academic theory, is trying to covertly regulate the US economy by starving industries it doesn’t want to fund. That should worry lawmakers.

Finally, we had the ridiculous spectacle of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) demanding in a House hearing that the leaders of our largest banks pledge to immediately halt all funding for new fossil fuel projects. Fortunately, they refused to do so. JP Morgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon vividly explained that this would put American “on the road to hell.” She responded to her refusal by threatening the banks with regulations to force them to comply.

It is particularly troubling that we are witnessing these events as Europe plunges into a deep recession, largely because it has underinvested in fossil fuel infrastructure and has become dependent on Russian natural gas. We’re just a few months away from ESG-driven gasoline price spikes to record highs here in the US. The last thing the world economy or the US economy needs right now is less investment in oil and natural gas. Yet that is what each of these events seeks to achieve. If anything, the real thing transition risk The fact has emerged that the US and European economies tried to divest themselves of fossil fuel investments too soon.

https://www.breitbart.com/economy/2022/09/23/breitbart-business-digest-leftwing-climate-extremism-still-wants-control-of-finance/ Leftwing Climate Extremism Still Wants Control of Finance

Linh

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