‘Vulnerable Twenty’ to meet this week

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Representatives from the Philippines and 19 other will meet this Thursday to discuss financial strategies targeted at mitigating the impact of climate change.

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The Finance department, in a statement, said the Philippines would be chairing the inaugural meeting of the so-called “Vulnerable Twenty” (V20) on October 8 in Lima, Peru.

On the agenda is the adoption of the V20 Action Plan and a concerted contribution to this December’s United Nations climate change conference in Paris.

“Industrialized countries, besides development institutions, are the targeted sources of financial and technical support because they account for the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change,” the Finance department said.

Members of the V20 include least developed, low-income and middle-income countries that lack resources to combat the adverse effects of climate change, it noted.

These countries are most prone to disasters because 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.

“Climate change is real — there’s simply no debate about it. Its devastating effects reach deeply, jeopardizing sustainable economic growth, threatening food security, and worsening the quality of life in many climate-vulnerable countries,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in the statement.

“What is even more unfortunate is that least developed, low-income, and middle-income countries that contribute the least to climate change are the ones that suffer the most from its adverse effects. So it is true that this is a matter of social justice — we, the most vulnerable, call for accountability and global action on climate change. We look forward to charting a concerted path forward for a matter of plain survival,” added Purisima, who will chair the V20 meeting.

The Finance department said that based on estimates, V20 countries suffer economic losses amounting to 2.5 percent of potential gross domestic product every year. These losses are expected to escalate if no significant action against climate change is implemented.

The inaugural V20 meeting, where Purisima will deliver the opening remarks, will be attended by finance ministers and representatives from the World Bank Group, United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.

Four advanced economies — France, Germany, Japan, and the United State — were also invited to send representatives to the meeting, the Finance department said.

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