• V20 economies seek support for action plan

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    Economies deemed vulnerable to climate change want developed countries to consider a proposed action plan as an international environmental summit opens in Paris this week.

    The Vulnerable 20 (V20), which includes the Philippines, is seeking support as the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) is staged from November 30 to December 11.

    In a letter, Philippine Finance Secretary and V20 Chairman Cesar Purisima noted that significant levels of funding, including $90 trillion in infrastructure investments by 2030, were required if the world was to deliver on a goal to keep the average rise in global temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius.

    “Our vulnerable nations are advocating instead for keeping warming to a minimum and support the more ambitious but still feasible target of below 1.5 degrees Celsius, itself requiring even more aggressive action,” Purisima said.

    In its action plan, the V20 said sustainable financing solutions could be explored, including a financial transaction tax or domestic taxes on environmentally harmful products.

    The creation of a sovereign Climate Risk Pooling Mechanism can also be considered as a public-private mechanism to distribute economic and financial risks, improve recovery after climate-induced extreme weather events and disasters, and enhance the security of jobs, livelihoods and businesses.

    Improving access to climate finance by streamlining processes and supporting institutional readiness and administrative capabilities among developing countries can also be done, the V20 said.

    “We are convinced that the V20 also has its role to play in helping to unlock the full potential of climate finance as we look to a new international partnership for moving our efforts forward,” Purisima said.

    “We believe that the realization of the V20 Action Plan would enable achievement of this investment goal, recognizing that capacity and other forms of assistance will be indispensable to our success,” he added.

    “We believe that if our poor and emerging climate-vulnerable countries are able to realize, through a new culture of international partnership, the rapid mobilization of unprecedented levels of climate finance from wide-ranging and innovative sources, then any country can [also do so].”

    Members of the V20 include least developed, low-income and middle-income countries that lack the resources to combat the adverse effects of climate change. They are considered prone to disasters as they are either surrounded by large bodies of water, are mountainous and therefore prone to landslides or have arid land.

    Besides the Philippines, the other V20 members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

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