• V20 calls for UN Paris Agreement ‘revolution’

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    The group of climate-change vulnerable economies or V20 called for an economic and financial revolution compliant with the new 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature rise limitation and global adaptation goals as enshrined in the United Nations Paris Agreement in December 2015.

    In a statement, the Department of Finance (DOF) said the V20 Group of Ministers of Finance met in Washington DC to collectively address economic and financial responses to climate change as a rapidly growing threat to growth and prosperity.

    The V20 ministerial also recognized new members with the expanded Group now spanning 43 economies systemically vulnerable to climate change and representing a combined population of more than one billion.

    “Our group has now grown to 43 vulnerable, developing countries–simply no longer accepting putting economic growth, and even the lives and livelihoods of our populations at severe risk, amid the slow pace of progress in climate finance mobilization, especially from bigger and richer countries further along in development,” said Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who is also the V20 Chair.

    Speaking at the V20 Ministerial Dialogue held in conjunction with the 2016 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, Purisima said the group see the financial system as a weapon with tremendous potential to fight climate change.

    “So we are working hard to be pioneers in concrete and innovative economic and fiscal responses to climate change. Our voice and effort has been strengthened here in Washington and we are going to keep pushing other economies, the G7 and the G20 to follow our lead. It’s a fight for our survival,” he said.

    The V20 Chair said they welcome the new World Bank Climate Change Action Plan and are requesting additional concessional financing in the context of debt sustainability to help realize the group’s ambitions and scale up its own contribution.

    V20’s progress on climate accounting, risk pooling mechanisms, carbon pricing, and expanding financial access have been encouraging, he said.

    In turn, Purisima said, developed countries are also expected to make good on their climate finance mobilization commitments.

    The V20 gathering released a Ministerial Communique calling climate change “a weight on the global recovery” arguing that strengthened climate responses would “restore robust, sustained and balanced growth” while highlighting the “clear compatibility of economic and climate change policies.”

    The communique also urged the G7 and G20 to undertake urgent efforts to realign development strategies and emission commitments with the new international target of limiting the rise in global temperatures to not more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

    The V20 body approved implementation plans to advance its effort to mobilize unprecedented levels of finance from all sources including pioneering innovation in climate finance and fiscal measures to support local actions to the limits of the capabilities of the group’s members.

    Decisions included a vision to implement carbon pricing regimes within the decade and calls for a Financial Transaction Tax to meet the urgent finance mobilization needs of climate action.

    The body also moved to create a platform for collaboration with business acknowledging the significant role of the private sector for achieving transformational change.

    It additionally established three Focus Groups of V20 members to specifically address the embedding of climate change costs in public and private accounting, to increase advocacy to promote V20 priorities in the international financial system, and to further work towards the creation of a V20 Risk Pooling Mechanism.

    The V20 was founded in October 2015 at Lima, Peru as a dedicated cooperation group of the Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a sister-initiative.

    Currently chaired by the Philippines, the V20 originally consisted of 20 developing countries from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific.

    The Washington, D.C. ministerial served to recognize the 23 new members that joined the CVF in 2015 as incoming members in the V20 initiative.

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