by Dan Collyns
October 09, 2015
V20 group of 20 countries most at risk from the effects of climate change call on wealthy nations to meet $100bn pledge to help them tackle global warming
Finance ministers from the 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change have formed a group to call for greater access to climate finance for adaptation and mitigation in the face of the most devastating effects of global warming.
With a collective population of nearly 700 million, the vulnerable twenty, or V20, range from small Pacific nations,such as Vanuatu, to Bangladesh and the Philippines.
“In the absence of an effective global response, annual economic losses due to climate change are projected to exceed $400bn by 2030 for the V20, with impacts far surpassing our local or regional capabilities,” said Cesar Purisima, finance minister for the Philippines, at the annual meeting of the World Bank and IMF in the Peruvian capital, Lima.
“Here in Lima, we unite for what we believe is the fundamental human rights issue threatening our very own existence today,” he said. The bloc aims to mobilise climate funds through advocacy and develop and share best practices in shoring up their defences against climate change.
It called for the fulfilment of the $100bn promised to developing countries to deal with climate change. Rich countries and businesses have provided close to two-thirds of the financial assistance pledged to poorer nations as part of the global climate change negotiations, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development.
The 20 finance ministers supported an international financial transaction tax to get additional resources to combat climate change. They also put forward the creation of a V20 climate risk pooling mechanism to distribute economic and financial risks in order to aid the countries’ recovery from extreme weather events.
Helen Clark, head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), praised the V20’s vision to “deploy innovation in finance, based on shared experiences” and said it could “knock down barriers” to climate action.
“This platform means we can speak with one voice in the international arena, especially at the upcoming COP21 [UN climate summit] in Paris,” said Maatia Toafa, the finance minister and deputy prime minister of Tuvalu, a Pacific island of around 10,000 people and a highest elevation of three-and-half metres.
“Along with Vanuatu and Kiribati we are one of the most vulnerable countries, this is not about reducing the net impact, it’s about survival,” he told the Guardian.
Climate change has been high on the agenda at the meeting of more than 180 finance ministers and central bank governors gathered in the Peruvian capital which hosted the United Nations Climate Change summit in 2014.
Laurence Tubiana, the French ambassador for the international climate negotiations in Paris, said: “Even if these 20 vulnerable countries don’t represent a big economic power they represent a very important moral force.”
The V20 is made up of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.