Statement delivered by H.E. Ken Ofori-Atta, Hon. Finance Minister of Republic of Ghana
V20 MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE X
16 April 2023
H.E. Ken Ofori-Atta, Hon. Finance Minister of Republic of Ghana
Good morning, and welcome to, I guess what I would say may be the most important meeting this whole week, but, truly welcome, on a Sunday, to the V20 meeting.
So, really, to welcome Kristalina, a real pillar of our organization and, of course, Nasheed, who is just a flame bearer. Axel, who we know, was really at the helm of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. So, he is a long proponent of the debt situation in Africa. I’m sure he’s going to write it all off before we know it; and then a representative from the Secretary General. And then we have Majid who will also be speaking. He may have the most difficult job to make COP28 count, from promises to education. Majid, best of luck. You have all of us behind you. We don’t have Prime Minister Amid Mortley , but I think we are all working with her and for her as we move towards Dubai but, certainly, June in Paris.
And so, fellow V20 Ministers, and High-Level Representatives of the V20
Representatives from the G7 and G20 countries, and partner institutions
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning and welcome to the 10th Ministerial Dialogue of Finance Ministers from V20 member states.
I recently read and commented on the IPCC’s synthesis report, which demonstrated how close we are to reaching irreversible tipping points.
Our forests are going up in flames, we are experiencing the continuous rise of sea levels and more and more areas are prone to flooding because of the unabated warming of the planet.
Economies like ours continue to suffer significant losses in destroyed infrastructure, loss of lives and livelihoods and growing debt as we struggle to recover what we have lost to extreme climate events.
If justice is so important in world affairs, why does it figure so little in the climate crisis?
Recently, the UNECA estimated Africa contributes less than 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Clearly, vulnerable countries are not the cause of the climate crisis.
And how do we repair the harm already inflicted?
And Yet, we see so few countries in the Global North taking responsibility for their actions?
The world’s top 20 emitters contribute 75% to global emission and have 80-85% of the world GDP, and this ought to translate into a moral responsibility that causes G7 and G20 countries to drive the climate course correction and to pay for the socioeconomic losses and damages that has been caused as a result of their historical industrial activities.
As the world’s most systemically climate-threatened economies, one of the main hurdles that vulnerable countries face is access to timely and concessional financing to realise our ambitions.
To place this in proper context, Climate Change costs the African continent some $7-$15 billion annually, and yet Africa receives just 5% of total climate finance outside the OECD.
Clearly, we lack the resources of our wealthy and major economy counterparts.
Additionally, our fiscal space is under constant pressure from the impacts of climate change. And the negative effects of climate change are further worsening the already high cost of capital and debt distress facing developing countries today.
Economic devastation of this magnitude and financial protection sinkholes at this scale can only be overcome through a recalibration of the global financial architecture; which must happen, not only as soon as possible, but within the current decade.
And so, today, we are pleased to share this roadmap to cement an international coalition behind a fit-for-climate global financial system, called the Accra-Marrakech Agenda. This started in Accra and will be completed during the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Marrakech.
This started in Accra, on March 30, of our meeting, and will be completed during the World Bank IMF Annual Meetings in Marrakech, with important stops to Paris, including the Bridgetown Initiative, for the Summit for A New Global Financing Pact in June, and the Africa Climate Summit in September, hosted by the Kenyan Government and proposed and supported by Patrick from the GCA.
It’s time for a new global deal on carbon financing, which is configured to secure win-win carbon financing exchanges that can help us meet global mitigation goals, deliver fair-share climate actions, curtail the rising cost of debt, and provide crucial financial support for ambitious climate action that would otherwise not be viable.
These are not a call for handouts, this is a call for acknowledging our common humanity and the right to create a much more productive world.
What the V20 expects and deserves is economic cooperation on a fair share basis. At the very least, the World owes itself that and owes all of us that, and for a more prosperous future.
And so, we meet here in Washington D.C. to advance our call for a fit-for-climate global financial architecture and development-positive climate action.
We will also take the opportunity to establish the CVF/V20 as an independent institution focused on ensuring ownership and accountability, while ensuring climate prosperity among our member countries.
Our goal is to move from V20 ‑‑ we are now 58 countries ‑‑ to 100 countries by this time next year, and there’s going to be a lot of work on that.
Excellencies, our call for reforms in the global financial architecture is based on realities on the ground and within the realm of systematic actions that can accelerate transformational changes in the real economy towards our common prosperity. With ample liquidity in the global financial system – GFANZ as we know, has about 400 members or so – with about $130 trillion under management; and this is what we need to translate into efficient systems that will support the financing of this initiative with the private sector involved.
We need a decisive shift of financial flows that will be required towards green and climate-resilient investments. This is within our reach with collective action. However, we no longer have a decade, we have just about 6 years and 8 months. Time is truly of the essence.
Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen, I truly look forward to an interactive dialogue today and I hope to hear voices raised in solidarity with the Accra-Marrakech agenda or the Bridgetown Initiative in Paris and/or the Summit in Africa.
But before we get onto the agenda proper, let us hear a video message from our youth representative, Ms Nakeeyat Dramani, the CVF Ambassador for Youth.
Thank you very much, indeed.
 Some countries have fair shares that are greater than anything they could ever do domestically – and in order to meet their full fair share, they must support additional action beyond their borders.