CVF-V20 at COP28: Transform global finance system to make it fit-for-climate
2 December 2023, DUBAI: The Climate Vulnerable Forum and V20 Finance Ministers today held a stocktake of reforms in the international financial architecture to spur development-positive climate action, a day after the current and incoming chairs of the CVF endorsed and helped launch the COP28 finance declaration.
The finance declaration, endorsed by CVF members Ghana, Barbados, Kenya, Colombia, and Senegal, will build on the V20 Accra-Marrakech Agenda, Bridgetown Initiative 2.0, and Nairobi Declaration, among other initiatives which have highlighted the need for a more equitable and effective global financial system.
The event also covered the operational progress of the CVF-V20 and the pivotal role of V20 Climate Prosperity Plans (CPPs), national investment strategies that seek to maximize socio-economic outcomes for vulnerable countries powered by clean energy and resilient development. The CPPs of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Ghana were highlighted.
Ghana’s President and CVF Chair Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced yesterday at the COP28 finance summit that Barbados will be the next CVF chair by mid-2024, and that former Maldives President and Founder of the Forum, Mohamed Nasheed has been appointed as the CVF’s first Secretary-General.
Speaking about the Loss and Damage Fund, Ghana’s President and CVF Chair Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said: “We welcome the funding commitments announced on Day 1 of the COP. However, it is imperative that this Fund be agile and responsive, free from the bureaucratic hurdles that have hindered speedy resource allocation in other climate funds.”
“The concept of equity and fair shares must be at the forefront of our discussions and actions. The Paris Agreement clearly indicates that those who have contributed more to the problem have a greater duty to be part of the solution. This not only involves increased financial support but also necessitates critical reforms to the global financial architecture,” President Akufo-Addo added.
“I thank the leadership of outgoing Chair Ghana and look forward to working with my friend Mohamed Nasheed,” said Barbados Prime Minister and incoming CVF Chair Mia Amor Mottley. “More than ever, we need solidarity. There are two major elephants in the room: First is keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the second is finance. The world needs long-term money. We give thanks to the progress made but it does nothing but assuage consciences. Choosing between people and the planet is a false choice; the world has enough funds.”
Former Maldives President and CVF Secretary-General Mohamed Nasheed said: “We are all vulnerable people in a vulnerable climate. It is for this reason that we have come together and work together. We are a South-South association, now an intergovernmental body. I thank the President of Ghana for making the CVF-V20 an intergovernmental organization.”
President Nasheed will officially become the Secretary-General on 1 January 2024, leading the independent Secretariat of the CVF-V20 based in Accra, Ghana with a regional office in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The CVF was founded in November 2009 in the Maldives’ capital of Male’ and an initial nine member countries. The V20 Finance Ministers was formed in 2015 in Peru under the Philippine presidency. Both the CVF and V20 now comprise 68 countries representing 1.74 billion people and USD 3.8 trillion of gross domestic product, whilst only contributing six percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
COP28 Director-General Ambassador Majid al-Suwaidi said: “The V20 plays a leading role in reforming the global financial architecture. We thank Barbados, Ghana and other leaders; the COP28 Presidency is one with you in pushing for climate finance reform.” Ambassador Majid highlighted financing opportunities including the ALTERRA fund, a new climate-focused investment vehicle with $30 billion in funding from the United Arab Emirates that aims to mobilize US$250 billion globally by 2030.
Bangladesh Minister of Information Hasan Mahmud said: “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has led the launch of the Mujib Prosperity Plan and Bangladesh joins the call for the reform of the international system of climate finance. With former President Nasheed coming on board, I believe that if we 68 countries raise our collective voice, we will be heard.”
Also joining the session were Kenya’s Finance Minister Njuguna Ndung’u; Sri Lanka Consul General in Melbourne, Australia Sandith Samarasinghe; Amar Bhattacharya and Vera Songwe of the Independent High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance; Bo Li of the International Monetary Fund; Axel van Trotsenburg of the World Bank; Jwala Rambarran of the Task Force on Climate, Development and the IMF; Kate Hampton of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation; and Christie Ulman of Sequoia Climate Foundation.
In closing, Ghana’s Environment Minister Kwaku Afriyie said: “We have to chart a new course on global financing. The recurring theme has always been accessible climate finance. The synergy between environment and climate issues is so clear. But an increasing number of social issues are coming to the fore: problems of poverty and the further marginalization of vulnerable groups. These can all be solved by collective action.”
The V20 Finance Ministers of the CVF also co-organized an event on the Global Shield against Climate Risks with the Ghana’s Ministry of Finance and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, where World Bank VP Juergen Voegele also spoke about the Loss and Damage Fund.
“Money needs to flow from the North to the South. We will not treat this Loss and Damage Fund like how we treat any other fund. There will be no delay. I want to dispel the notion that the World Bank will have anything to do with where the money goes. The Bank plays no role in how this is used. I will personally see this through until the money is out the door. If it is to be meaningful, it has to be scaled up to billions of dollars,” Voegele said.
At a subsequent press conference with German Development Minister Svenja Schulze, CVF Special Envoy for Ghana Dr. Henry Kokofu called for a Marshall Plan for debt relief and for industrialized nations to put their fossil fuel subsidies into the Loss and Damage and Adaptation funds.
The V20 Climate Prosperity Plan Fellowship Programme, co-organized with the Boston University Global Development Policy Center and the Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS University of London, also held a fellows roundtable today with the Rockefeller Foundation at the Barbados pavilion.
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ABOUT THE CVF and V20
The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) is an international partnership of countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet. The V20 Finance Ministers is a dedicated cooperation initiative of economies systematically vulnerable to climate change. Ghana is the current Chair of the CVF and the V20 Finance Ministers. Both the CVF and V20 are composed of the same 68 countries, representing 1.74 billion people and USD 3.8 trillion in GDP. Their members are:
Africa & Middle East
Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana (Chair), Guinea, Jordan*, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Palestine**, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Yemen.
*Pending further discussions
**As a UN non-member observer state
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Fiji, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam.
Latin America & Caribbean
Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haïti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago.
ABOUT THE INCOMING CVF CHAIR, PRIME MINISTER MIA MOTTLEY
Barbados prime minister Mia Amor Mottley will become the first Caribbean leader of the CVF in mid-2024. She launched the influential Bridgetown Initiative, named after the country’s capital, in July 2022. She expressed her country’s interest to be the next chair during the CVF Leaders’ Meeting on the sidelines of UNGA last September.
ABOUT THE CVF SECRETARY-GENERAL, PRESIDENT MOHAMED NASHEED
Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed founded the CVF in 2009. His appointment as Secretary-General was agreed upon by the current Leadership Troika of Ghana, Bangladesh, and the Marshall Islands. Nasheed will officially become the Secretary-General on 1 January 2024, leading the independent Secretariat of the CVF-V20 based in Accra, Ghana with a regional office in Colombo, Sri Lanka.