Vulnerable countries to insure MSMEs amidst worsening climate disasters

NEW YORK, 22 Sept 2019 – The Vulnerable Twenty (V20) group of economies today rolled out its Sustainable Insurance Facility (SIF) to protect micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that account for 29% of GDP and employ 78% of workforce in vulnerable economies. Worsening climate disasters would further drag down economic productivity and resilience if the MSME sector does not have adequate insurance protection and investment capacity to absorb financial shocks and de-risk the low-carbon transition, according the group.

“Our vulnerabilities to climate change are a major strain on our economies. Those of us on the frontline of the climate crisis cannot afford to merely wait and watch the world breach the 1.5 tipping point,” said Honourable Minister, Attorney General Sayed-Khaiyum of the Republic of Fiji.

Bangladesh, Fiji, the Marshall Islands and the Philippines are expected to be the first to test the SIF, which is being developed in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, Munich Climate Insurance Initiative, UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance, and the InsuResilience Funds invested in by G20 members.

“Despite their importance, MSMEs inherently face a wide spectrum of risks, many of which are commercially uninsurable. I hope we are able to garner support for the Sustainable Insurance Facility which aims to significantly increase insurance coverage for populations, livelihoods and economic assets against climate and disaster risks,” said Ywao Elanzo Jr, Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

“MSMEs are at the heart of vulnerable economies and are vital to achieving sustainable development. Through the V20 Sustainable Insurance Facility, we look forward to delivering effective insurance solutions that would support the transition of vulnerable economies into climate-resilient, low-carbon and sustainable economies,” said Butch Bacani, Program Lead of UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI).

The SIF aims to enhance socio-economic resilience through strong and consistent employment opportunities as well as social protection for the vulnerable, and strengthen national productivity by enabling better credit access and investment security.

 “Needs-responsive financial protection, which supports pro-active risk management and risk reduction, in line with strong, country-led CDRFI frameworks is key to ensure sustainability in solutions,” said Soenke Kreft, Executive Director of Munich Climate Insurance Initiative.

In addition, the SIF may reduce pressure on public spending ex post disaster to maintain fiscal and financial stability by ensuring fewer implicit contingent liabilities, continued tax revenue, and fewer negative effects to GDP.

In Bangladesh, for example, climate change is expected to decrease agricultural GDP by 3.1% each year, equal to US$36 billion. The loss increases to US$129 billion in indirect impacts on complementary industries.

”It’s important to realize that Bangladesh is growing at 6.3% per year and the biggest threat to this growth is the high climate risk exposure of our populations and major economic sectors. We need to drive up investment in adaptation, enable comprehensive risk management, and access to climate and disaster risk finance and insurance,” said Shahidul Islam, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

In the last ten years, climate vulnerability had cost V20 countries an additional US$62 billion in interest payments alone, including US$40 billion in additional interest payments on government debt, according to UN Environment Program. Future interest payments due to climate vulnerability are projected to increase to US$168 billion over the next decade.

V20 economies consistently post some of the highest economic growth rates worldwide. Yet they do not rank among the countries attracting substantial investment capital. V20 countries face considerable barriers such as higher costs of capital in financing that affect both resilience and renewable energy projects, as well as huge inefficiencies when attempting to access international climate finance.

In 2018, the V20 formed an initiative with the G20 on the InsuResilience Global Partnership. They introduced the Global Risk Financing Facility (GriF) hosted in the World Bank to help vulnerable countries manage the financial impacts of climate change and natural hazard-induced shocks, and enable resilient debt management. Through highlighting the need for increased support and ambition for resilient infrastructure investments, the V20 seeks to advance the cost-effectiveness of integrated risk management and financing solutions, and to enhance coherence among the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the G20’s efforts on adaptation.

Formed in 2015, the V20 Group of Finance Ministers is a dedicated cooperation initiative of economies systemically vulnerable to climate change. It is currently chaired by the Republic of Marshall Islands. The V20 membership stands at 48 economies including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Haïti, Honduras, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Senegal, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Viet Nam and Yemen.

 

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Vulnerable countries and partners to climate­-proof economic growth

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Vulnerable countries and international partners announce collaboration to climate­-proof economic growth

Washington DC, 11 April 2019 — ­­ Finance Ministers from V20 Group of vulnerable economies today announced new financial instruments in collaboration with international partners at the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund to ensure continued global economic growth in the face of increasing threats from climate change. The group aims to lower the cost of capital and unlock large capital inflows to climate-­proof the economic development of at least 1 billion people living in some of the fastest­-growing regions, but are exposed to severe climate impacts.

 

“Shortfalls in decisive action persist despite the blueprint provided by the Paris Agreement. We must go far beyond rhetoric. The moment calls for a robust response to protect economic growth from the risks of climate change and secure continued progress,” said Minister Benson Wase, Finance Minister of the Republic of Marshall Islands and current chair of the V20.

 

“Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time, straining the global economy and threatening to reverse development gains and impede future progress,” said World Bank Chief Executive Officer, Kristalina Georgieva.  “The World Bank is committed to supporting V20 countries as they take ambitious action to adopt a low-carbon, climate-resilient growth path.”

 

In the last ten years, climate vulnerability has cost V20 countries an additional US$62 billion in interest payments alone, including US$40 billion in additional interest payments on government debt, according to the Climate Change and the Cost of Capital in Developing Countries report of the UN Environment Programme. Future interest payments due to climate vulnerability are projected to increase to US$168 billion over the next decade. These payments are separate from economic losses directly suffered from climate change, which compound the issue by reducing countries’ ability to invest in climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. For every US $10 paid in interest by V20 countries, an additional dollar will be spent due to climate vulnerability, the report concludes.

 

“The need to accelerate adaptation to make the world more resilient to the realities of climate change is ever more urgent.  There are solutions to tackle this global crisis, and there is concerted action taking place right now to prepare for our future climate reality.  But these efforts must increase and accelerate, and key actors – governments, companies and institutions – must join forces to make a positive difference,” said Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation and Managing Partner of the V20 and the Global Commission on Adaptation which is co-chaired by Bill Gates, Ban Ki-moon and Kristalina Georgieva to mobilize strengthened efforts to adapt to climate change.

 

New Investment and Financial Instruments to protect against Climate Risks

 

V20 economies consistently post among the highest economic growth rates worldwide. Yet they do not rank among the countries attracting substantial investment capital. V20 countries face considerable barriers such as higher costs of capital in financing that affect both resilience and renewable energy projects, as well as huge inefficiencies when attempting to access international climate finance.  

 

Responding to the challenge, the V20 has proposed the Accelerated Financing Mechanism (AFM) for Maximal Resilience & a 100% Renewable Energy Transition to upscale existing risk mitigation tools, guarantees and blended finance facilities, and a new menu of instruments within MDBs and other development banks for adaptation, resilience and renewable energy projects.   

 

Another V20 instrument, the Sustainable Insurance Facility (SIF), intends to promote private sector insurance uptake to address climate risks and promote low-carbon development.   It seeks to support the provision of financial protection instruments that strengthen the resilience of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), including of the various vulnerable groups along the supply chain. The V20 sees SIF as a tool that can crowd in investments in risk reduction, enhance credit access, and better manage public contingent liabilities related to infrastructure and social resilience.

 

In 2018, the V20 formed an initiative with the G20 on the InsuResilience Global Partnership. They introduced the Global Risk Financing Facility (GriF) hosted in the World Bank to help vulnerable countries manage the financial impacts of climate change and natural hazard-induced shocks, and enable resilient debt management.  Through highlighting the need for increased support and ambition for resilient infrastructure investments, the V20 seeks to advance the cost-effectiveness of integrated risk management and financing solutions, and to enhance coherence among the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the G20’s efforts on adaptation.

 

Formed in 2015, the V20 Group of Finance Ministers is a dedicated cooperation initiative of economies systemically vulnerable to climate change. It is currently chaired by the Republic of Marshall Islands. The V20 membership stands at 48 economies including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Haïti, Honduras, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Senegal, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Viet Nam and Yemen.

 

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Vulnerable Economies Call for Accelerated Financial Shift

PRESS RELEASE

V20 Group fears carbon-intensive energy systems could impair economic stability

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V20 Ministerial Dialogue V Communique (pdf, 0.1mb)

Bali, 14 Oct 2018–  Finance Ministers from the V20 Group of climate vulnerable countries today sought large-scale changes to global finance flows, saying the funding shift needs to happen sooner, covering far larger amounts that can help protect economies from the worsening impacts of climate change. Convening at the World Bank-IMF Meetings in Bali, V20 countries said “the need to unlock investments for ambitious climate action is not only urgent but an absolute necessity given combined impacts from economic and climatic threats.”

 

In its official communique, the group expressed fear that continued over-reliance on carbon-intensive energy systems is building accumulated financial risks globally.  It highlighted an Ernst and Young report which indicated that €86 billion in carbon-intensive utility assets were already written off in Europebetween 2010 to 2014. Similar write-offs within V20 economies would severely impair economic stability and growth of their economies, it said.

 

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently prescribed USD$2.4 trillion to fund societal changes that could help keep warming within 1.5C, a level consistent with the stability and continued economic progress among climate vulnerable economies.  The IPCC’s  Special Report on 1.5C Degrees also confirmed  limiting global warming to 1.5C would provide for higher global aggregated economic growth due to reduced risks. According to the scientific body, keeping global temperatures within the 1.5C level remains a possibility but would require drastic emission reductions of about 45%, and a 60-80% lower reliance on coal power by 2030 (based on 2010 levels).

 

“Industrialized countries and the global financial community must go beyond rhetoric and urgently tip the balance of global finance towards strong climate action that benefits the world economy. We are facing an existential threat, but we are hopeful the climate challenge will be met with bold ambitious action,” said H.E. Brenson S. Wase, Finance Minister of theRepublic of the Marshall Islands, the new chair of V20. “We need to deepen international collaboration to hasten the world’s transition to climate-resilient and low carbon development.”

 

While in Bali, the World Bank, G20 and V20 announced a joint USD$145 million initiative tohelp vulnerable countries access risk financing and insurance solutions for climate and disaster shocks. This supports the Global InsuResilience Partnership, which was born out of close V20-G20 cooperation in 2017. The V20 is seeking further cooperation with the G20 in accelerating fossil fuel subsidy reform as well as support for V20 carbon pricing efforts.

 

The V20 said it further signaled its concern over delivery of USD$100 billion pledged by industrialized countries for the Paris Agreement, in light of the US withdrawal from the global treaty.

 

The V20 is a grouping of Ministers of Finance within the Climate Vulnerable Forum and is a dedicated cooperation initiative of economies systemically vulnerable to climate change. It is currently chaired by the Republic of Marshall Islands.

 

V20 members include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Haïti, Honduras, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Senegal, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Viet Nam and Yemen.

Marshall Islands New V20 Chair

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Marshall Islands New CVF & V20 Chair

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  • Ethiopia concluded its 2-year term as president of the CVF and V20 Group
  • CVF-V20 Officials met at Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia–Tuesday 28 August 2018: The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia concluded its chairmanship of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of the member states of the CVF with a handover ceremony held at Addis Ababa today transferring presidency responsibilities to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Speaking at the event, H.E. Dr. Gemedo Dalle, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said:

“The Marshall Islands gives us hope. They are very vocal and committed to fighting climate change. The CVF is in safe hands. We strive for 1.5°C to thrive and we can do this together. The dream of a safer world needs the cooperation of all countries, and of every man, woman, and child.”

Accepting the responsibilities of the Forum chairmanship, Mr. Carlsan Heine of the Office of the President of the Marshall Islands said:

“We have come together on climate change and we will continue to fight together on climate change. The Marshall Islands stands on the shoulders of the giants of this Forum who came before us as we seek to implement the CVF Vision and the core priorities of the V20 Finance Ministers. We are proud that a Pacific island nation of less than 100,000 inhabitants under female leadership will take forward this global Forum at this critical moment.”

The Marshall Islands is convening an entirely online Virtual Summit of the Climate Vulnerable Forum on 22 November 2018 and it was indicated that the Summit would be front and center of the Forum’s work for the remainder of 2018.

The handover ceremony took place in conjunction with meetings of the V20 Focus Groups and a CVF-V20 Troika Meeting held at Addis Ababa from 27-28 August 2018, gathering senior CVF and V20 officials from different world regions.

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

V20- - 1

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 economies announce new climate finance initiatives

Call for strong climate outcome at G20 Summit in July

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Photos of the event (Flickr)

Washington, D.C., 23 April 2017 – Climate-vulnerable economies comprising the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group today expanded its membership, and 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.  The group said it is seeking ambitious climate action from G20 economies.

V20 officially confirmed the membership of Colombia, Lebanon, The Gambia, Palestine and Samoa, while also announcing the future chairmanship of the Marshall Islands from October 2018.  The group is currently chaired by Ethiopia.

“Today, the V20 achieved a number of important milestones with our strategic dialogue with the G20, as well as by initiating concrete initiatives to help V20 members finance climate action in their respective countries,” said H.E. Abraham Tekeste, Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation of Ethiopia.

The V20-G20 dialogue aims to deepen strategic partnership between the two groups to redesign the investment agenda of the world economy. Representatives realized they had much in common in terms of aims to establish financial instruments that boost climate-friendly investments and energy transition. In addition, the V20 urged G20 countries to deliver their long-term low-emissions development strategies before 2020, and to include ambitious climate action as part of the G20 outcomes in July.

The concrete steps pursued by climate-vulnerable countries include low-emission development, shift in financial flows towards achieving 100% renewable energy, and stronger risk financing and insurance for vulnerable economies.

In its recent Communique, the V20 warned the G20 that pulling resources from the Paris Agreement will create economic instability. The V20 said investing in climate action is necessary and critical for inclusive development and economic growth.

“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.

Developed economies have pledged $100 billion per year to finance steps enshrined in the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to no more than, if not well below, 1.5 degrees. The V20 welcomed the Roadmap presented by developed countries, outlining a pathway towards achieving their finance mobilization target.

 

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Asia-Pacific Vulnerable Countries to Invest in Climate Action

VULNERABLE COUNTRIES FROM ASIA-PACIFIC MEET TO INVEST ON CLIMATE ACTION

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES (8 March 2017) — Finance ministers and senior officials from 15 developing economies across Asia and the Pacific met today at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila to discuss enhanced economic and financial responses to climate change.

The 3-day regional consultation of the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Ministers of Finance (V20) aims to mobilize international, regional, and national investment for climate action, as well as discuss financial instruments for disaster risk reduction, public financial management, and carbon pricing. It is supported by ADB, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank Group, and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).

“Climate-vulnerable countries such as the Philippines fought to enshrine a 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming limit in the Paris Agreement not only to survive but also to thrive. We have to transition to clean energy-powered economies not just because it will save the climate but also because it will produce more jobs and pump prime the economy,” said Philippine Senator Loren Legarda, who opened the consultation.

Led by the Philippines when it was established in 2015, the V20 has expanded to 43 developing economies from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The 15 participating countries in the Asia-Pacific consultation include Ethiopia (the current V20 Chair), Bangladesh, Barbados, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Fiji, Kiribati, Maldives, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Palau, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Viet Nam.

“Eighteen of the 43 V20 countries are developing member countries of ADB, representing 40% of ADB’s total developing country membership. We are delighted to host this important regional consultation to implement the V20’s 5-year Action Plan,” said Preety Bhandari, ADB’s Director for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management. “ADB looks forward to supporting the V20 in moving forward on its agreed actions in Asia and the Pacific, maintaining a continuing and open dialogue to strengthen climate resilience, and ensuring that ADB assistance is tailored to support the achievement of V20 priorities, both nationally and regionally.”

The event will support the roll out of the V20 Action Plan — adopted in 2015 to address V20 climate finance needs — and provide an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience between the countries in support of enhanced climate finance and technical capabilities. It will also focus on disaster risk financing to strengthen the countries’ financial resilience against disaster risk at national and international levels.

“If not managed well, disasters can roll back years of development gains and plunge millions of people into poverty,” said Olivier Mahul, Program Manager for Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program, the World Bank Group. “Today, on International Women’s Day, let us not forget that women are among the vulnerable after a disaster, as the economic devastation exacerbates gender equality.”

Finance ministers from Kiribati, Palau, and Sri Lanka, and government officials from the Philippines are also attending the opening day event apart from representatives of international and regional development banks, international organizations, civil society, business community, media, and the academia.

Image caption: Senator Loren Legarda addressing the V20 Group Regional Consultation at the Asian Development Bank, 8 March 2017; source: V20; licence: CC.

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
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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

Philippines Energy Policy Review Sets Green Economy Shift

Philippines Energy Policy Review Sets Green Economy Shift: Purisima: Climate finance integral to a successful transformation

PRESS RELEASE
Manila, Philippines – Friday, 3 June, 2016 – Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima welcomed President Benigno S. Aquino III’s call for a sweeping review of Philippine energy policy, setting the path for a whole-of-nation approach away from carbon and towards green energy development.
As chair of the V20 Group, now expanded to 43 countries most systemically vulnerable to the consequences of climate change, Purisima has called for a rethinking of the global economy through V20 initiatives like climate accounting and carbon pricing.
“Apart from its human costs—which ought to be a convincing enough reason for decisive global action in and of itself—climate change is a dead weight to the global economy. Business as usual no longer presents a strong business case for anyone. Shifting to clean, renewable energy is the best investment we can make for our future.
To this end, the V20 Group is developing concrete ways to reorder incentive structures governing human behavior in the global economy. Changing how we value and price the costs of human (in)action to climate change ought to make a green energy shift the only sensible choice to make for everyone,” Purisima said.
Climate change-related disasters have claimed over 1.35 million lives in total and affected an average of 218 million annually over the past 2 decades. Developing countries bear more than half the economic impact of climate change over 80% of its health impact, with annual climate change-related economic costs of $44.9 billion projected to increase ten-fold by 2030.
According to the Global Partnership for Preparedness, a group recently launched by V20 and several UN agencies, the global economic impact of climate change since 2005 has breached $1.3 trillion.
Purisima earlier emphasized this in his keynote address at the Future of Asia Conference in Tokyo, where he cited studies showing how climate change has already held back global development by close to 1% of the world GDP. Purisima also referred to a paper published in the scientific journal Nature estimating that overall economic production would fall by about 23 percent by 2100 if the climate keeps changing under the current models. The study also projected that climate change would reduce average incomes in the poorest 40 percent of countries by 75 percent in 2100, while making 43% of the global population poorer in 2100 than today.
“While we in the V20 Group work with experts and multilaterals on risk pooling mechanisms as well as other mitigation and adaptation measures, it is important for developing economies to get efficient access to financial resources to adapt and shift towards a green economy.” Purisima has been vocal in leading the V20 in advocating for swifter progress towards the achievement of the joint $100 billion developed country commitment for support to developing countries via the Green Climate Fund.
“Transitioning towards a green economy requires a lot of money, we must admit. It costs even more for developing countries. But the cost of saving our planet can never be more than the cost of losing it. This is why we need global collaboration on climate finance to fund a more sustainable future,” Purisima added.
Photo Caption: Man Shoveling Charcoal, Smokey Mountain Manila. Photo Credit: Adam Cohn via Flickr. Photo Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

New Global Partnership for Preparedness Launched: V20, UN and World Bank Collaboration to help countries get ready for future disasters

 New Global Partnership for Preparedness Launched: V20, UN and World Bank Collaboration to help countries get ready for future disasters

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PRESS RELEASE
Istanbul, Turkey – Tuesday, May 24, 2016 – A major new partnership to better prepare countries and communities for disasters is being launched today at the World Humanitarian Summit as a united response to a continuing rise in humanitarian emergencies.
The new global partnership for preparedness (GPP) is led by the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum which represents 43 high risk developing nations in collaboration with UN agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Food Programme (WFP), as well as the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). The partnership will strengthen preparedness capacities initially in 20 countries, so they attain a minimum level of readiness by 2020 for future disaster risks mainly caused by climate change.
Roberto B. Tan, Treasurer of the Philippines, representing the chair of the V20, says that the goal of the partnership with the international community is to make sure that when disasters strike, the mechanisms and support are in place so people can get back on their feet as soon as possible, therefore minimizing the impact on development gains and preventing uncontrolled humanitarian crises. “We know investment in preparedness saves lives and dollars and thus makes financial and economic sense. If we plan ahead, we will create a situation where instead of wave after wave of climate-driven natural disasters destroying what gains communities have made, they can pick up their lives again as soon as possible. Crises such as those from natural disasters and effects of climate change should no longer spin out of control,” Treasurer Tan says.
United Nations Development Program Administrator Helen Clark says: “This partnership will help countries to reach an adequate level of preparedness for disasters and other shocks. The aim is to save lives, safeguard development gains, and reduce the economic impacts of crises. Importantly, this also safeguards development gains, which can otherwise be lost with each disaster, she said. “This new partnership puts at-risk countries in the driver’s seat and brings together the work of development and humanitarian actors in a coherent way.”
Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator states: “Extreme weather and other shocks shouldn’t become major humanitarian disasters if we better anticipate and plan for them ahead, and reinforce local response capacity. The global preparedness partnership led by countries most at risk of climate change through the V20 provides a key opportunity to make this happen”.
Laura Tuck, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank adds: “At the initiative of the Vulnerable Twenty Group of countries, we are joining UN agencies to support a global preparedness partnership to help build strong national and local institutions and ensure that planning and financing for preparedness are integral parts of countries’ disaster management frameworks.”
“The world’s population that depends on farming, livestock, fishing and forests for their food and livelihoods, are highly vulnerable to natural disasters, whether provoked by extreme events such as storms, droughts, floods or earthquakes. Farming remains a key economic activity for millions of people across the developing world and the bedrock of food security,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. “This new effort will help build up the resilience of rural communities and boost national capacities to prepare for problems and respond effectively to disasters when they occur,” he added.
“As climate change increases the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, there is a need to shift from a focus on crisis response to taking anticipatory actions to manage risks. The global preparedness partnership recognizes that predictable finance and strengthened government capacity are essential for saving lives and reducing the cost of responding to disasters”, concludes Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme. 
 The partnership will become operational later this year and seeks to provide the initial 20 countries with support to achieve:
  • better access to risk analysis and early warning;
  • contingency plans with clear lines of responsibility, triggers for action, and pre-committed finance;
  • developing social protection, basic services and delivery systems capable of responding to shocks.
Photo Caption: The V20 Chair (Philippines) and Nepal standing together with UNDP and the World Bank for global preparedness