David meets Goliath: First ever V20 – G20 meeting highlights the mutual benefits of climate action

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Blog post by Gerrit Hansen, Germanwatch, April 2017
http://germanwatch.org/en/13801

The climate vulnerable forum (CVF), now uniting 49 of the world’s countries most vulnerable to climate change, has again taken centre-stage in the fight against global warming and for an equitable international climate regime. At the recent IMF and World Bank spring meeting in Washington, the finance ministers of the group, the Vulnerable 20 (V20), met with representatives of its “big brother”, the G20, to discuss issues related to climate finance, effective mitigation policies, support for adaptation and resilience and above all: enhanced cooperation.

After their vital role in negotiating the landmark Paris climate agreement, and anchoring the 1.5 degree temperature goal the group has repeatedly positioned itself as a global leader in innovation and ambition – despite their limited economic prowess. In their Marrakesh Communique launched 2016 during COP22, the CVF pledged to transition to 100% renewable energy provision as soon as possible, and by mid-century at the latest. A report commissioned by the CVF and UNDP underscores that the quest to stay below 1.5°C global warming represents an opportunity to leap-frog into better, healthier, more stable and independent renewable economies.

The V20 brought that spirit to the table in Washington: urging the worlds’ most powerful economies to follow suit and embrace the opportunity offered by the modernization and greening of their economies. The V20 Ministerial Communique adopted at the 4th Ministerial Dialogue later that day states: “Insufficient resources from climate protection will only create economic instability. Investing in climate action, by contrast, is critical to inclusive development, job security and economic growth. This is an opportunity not just for the V20 economies but for the developed economies as well.”

The V20 called on G20 countries to deliver ambitious climate change action as part of the G20 outcome in July. “For vulnerable countries, the 1.5C limit is a matter of survival. It requires immediate and swift action by the global community, and above all, the major industrial powers,” said H.E. Macaya Hayes, Ambassador of Costa Rica to the USA. “We set our sights towards 2018, the trigger year when all countries, especially the major industrial powers, need to commit to enhance their climate ambition before the end of the decade.”

During the meeting, speakers from Marshall Islands, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, and Barbados urged G20 countries to deliver their long-term low-emissions development strategies before 2020, and join the V20 in leading towards universal coverage of emission through carbon pricing by 2025. A particular emphasis was put on the need to end fossil fuel subsidies. The V20 recognized the need to be rigorously checked whether fossil fuel consumption subsidies provide an actual benefit to the poor, and subsequently design their replacement worldwide without harm to those relying on them for their basic energy needs. However, the group is much stricter when calling for the end of market distorting fossil fuel production subsidies. The latter should be removed immediately and no later than 2020, and the G20 should adopt a clear timeframe for fossil fuel subsidy elimination – which the G20 fails to deliver since 2009.

However the V20 did not only appeal to the major emitters. In keeping with their frontrunner-tradition, the V20 announced it would pioneer innovation in climate finance to help secure continued economic development among its members while tackling the costly economic impacts of climate change. They decided to establish a Task Force of independent experts to assess the financial requirements for climate action consistent with the Paris Agreement, with a view of delivering maximal resilience and a low carbon development consistent with 1.5 degrees Celsius. They also resolved to establish a technical committee to develop multi-country financing initiatives towards the advancement the V20 Action Plan and its aim of attaining a significant increase in climate investment in V20 countries.

While the G20 finance ministers remained strangely silent on the matter, the V20 welcomed the recommendations from the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, highlighting that the compatibility with the 1.5 degrees limit should be integral part of what these disclosures should assess. V20 pledged its collaboration in the effective implementation of those recommendations, and in further study of the development policy implications of green finance and risk instruments. While reiterating the criticality of the $100 billion commitment and the need to significantly upscale concessional financial means via Multilateral Development Banks for achieving transformational change in line with the Paris Agreement the V20 also stressed the need to increase prioritization of adaptation finance to ensure a 50:50 balance of finance for adaptation and mitigation by 2020, calling for continued scaling up of financial support in a balanced manner.

The value of the V20-G20 dialogue that has now been initiated was clearly recognized by G20 and V20 representatives present at the meeting. It can become an important engagement tool that highlights how climate action is mutually beneficial to different economies. As a next step, this partnership ought to be pursued and deepened with common goals. The V20 Communique concludes that “it is time to act strategically to advance truly transformational programs that redesign nothing less than the investment agenda of the world economy.”

V20 Calls for Clear Finance Roadmap to Excel in Climate Fight

V20 Calls for Clear Finance Roadmap to Excel in Climate Fight

  • The Vulnerable 20 (V20) Group of Finance Ministers of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) meet at the World Bank and IMF Fall meetings
  • Philippines hands over presidency as Ethiopia becomes V20 Chair
PRESS RELEASE
Download Press Release (English, Pdf, 0.2mb)
WASHINGTON D.C., 06 October 2016 – On the day after the Paris Agreement on climate change became law, finance ministers representing more than 40 emerging economies that form the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group met in Washington, DC to discuss how finance is key to driving the urgent action required at home. At the event, on the sideline of the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, Ethiopia assumed the Chair of the V20 Group which was founded in 2015.
Carlos Dominguez, the Secretary of Finance of the Philippines called for a clear roadmap towards the mobilization of $100 billion in additional financing flows to help the most vulnerable countries deal protect themselves. He said V20 international cooperation would “provide our domestic economies with vital support and confidence we need to excel in fighting climate change”.
Abdulaziz Mohammed, the Minsiter of Finance and Economic Cooperation of Ethiopia, highlighted devastating effects and “lethal excesses caused by the world’s most gigantic externality”, adding that “we would like to express Ethiopia’s commitment for its candid leadership for the achievement of the V20 vision, and to work towards the fulfilment of the Paris climate agreement at large”.
Speaking at the V20 Ministerial, Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, recognized the role of the vulnerable countries in the Paris Agreement through convincing the international community that a world where warming does not exceed 1.5 degrees was worth fighting for. She said “UNDP, and the entire UN development system, will work to support you in accomplishing your mission.”
Photo Caption: Philippines handover the V20 Presidency to Ethiopia; Source: The V20 Group of Finance Ministers; License: CC BY-NC 2.0

V20: Climate Fight Essential to Global Recovery

V20: Climate Fight Essential to Global Recovery

PRESS RELEASE
Download the Press Release (English, Pdf, 0.2mb)
Download the V20 2nd Ministerial Communique (English, Pdf, 0.3mb)
  • Group of more than 40 economies systemically vulnerable to climate change advance efforts to pioneer financial innovation in responding to climate threats
  • Finance Ministers insist on a financial system compatible with the new 1.5°C Paris Agreement limit, calling for G7 and G20 to align development priorities with the goal
  • Swifter progress towards the $100 billion international climate finance commitment and increased concessional financing for climate action urged
  • Long-term vision to establish carbon pricing regimes adopted by expanded V20 Group
14 April 2016 – Washington, DC: The Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance today met to collectively address economic and financial responses to climate change as a rapidly growing threat to growth and prosperity. The V20 called for an economic and financial revolution compliant with the new 1.5 degrees Celsius and global adaptation goals as enshrined in the UN Paris Agreement reached in December 2015 that was strongly welcomed by the Group.
The V20 Chair, Cesar Purisima, Secretary of Finance of the Philippines, said: “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. We see the financial system as a weapon to fight climate change with tremendous potential. 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.”
“We welcome the new World Bank Climate Change Action Plan and are requesting additional concessional finance in the context of debt sustainability to help realize our ambitions and scale up our own contribution. We are encouraged by the progress we’ve made on climate accounting, risk pooling mechanisms, carbon pricing, and expanding financial access. We likewise expect developed countries to make good on their climate finance mobilization commitments,” added Secretary Purisima speaking at the V20 Ministerial Dialogue held in conjunction with the 2016 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group. 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 ministerial 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. Speaking as an incoming V20 member, John Silk, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Marshall Islands, said: “The Marshall Islands is honoured to join the V20. The world needs ambitious action by all countries if we are to decarbonise globally and keep the window open for the 1.5 degree limit needed by vulnerable countries like mine to survive. The V20 is devising solutions to ramp up action. We need climate finance flows to make clean energy available to all.”
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, DC ministerial served to recognize the 23 new members that joined the CVF in 2015 as incoming members in the V20 initiative.
 Photo caption: The V20 2nd Ministerial Dialogue at the 2016 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, Board Room, World Bank Main Complex, Washington DC (14 April 2016); Source: CVF/UNDP; Licence: CC

V20 to hold Ministerial Dialogue

V20 High-Level Events at 2016 Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group

13-14 April 2016, Washington, DC
Following the 2nd V20 Working Group Meeting held last week, V20 delegates will convene in Washington DC for the 2nd V20 Preparatory Deputies/Senior Officials Meeting and the 2nd V20 Ministerial Dialogue on 13th and 14 April 2016 respectively. The meetings will affirm the V20’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, calling for a path towards the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit and greater financial protection for climate change impacts.
The Ministerial meeting of the V20 is considering a Work Plan and extending commitments to pioneer and deploy financial and fiscal solutions to climate change. The V20 Risk Pooling mechanism will be a focus of discussion, along with progress on the 2020 Action Plan to mobilise unprecedented investment from all sources beginning with national finance dialogues and building partnerships with private sector partners. A V20 Communiqué will be issued at the conclusion of the event.
The V20 2nd Ministerial Dialogue will also see confirmation of new CVF member countries as V20 members.
Participation in the 2nd Preparatory Deputies/Senior Officials Meeting and the 2ndMinisterial Dialogue is by invitation only and subject to registration for the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings. Accredited media will be invited to attend a segment of the 2ndMinisterial Dialogue meeting. Admission to the V20 with Business reception is by invitation only.
Photo Caption: World Bank headquarters. Washington DC. Photo Credit: Deborah W. Campos / World Bank. Photo Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0