Led by the Philippines, the V20 group say they represent a significant number of nations most vulnerable to climate change – low and middle income, least developed, arid, isthmus, landlocked, mountainous and small island developing countries from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific.
In a communique marking the first meeting of their finance ministers, the V20 group said because of climate change, they are already facing an average of more than 50,000 deaths a year, with the number expected to rise exponentially by 2030.
And they say they face escalating annual losses of at least 2.5 percent of their GDP potential per year.
Speaking at the launch, on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF in Lima, Peru, Cesar Purisima, Finance Minister of the Philippines said costs would rise without concerted action.
“In the absence of an effective global response, annual economic losses due to climate change are projected to exceed US$400 billion by 2030 for the V20, with impacts far surpassing our local or regional capabilities,” he noted. “Here in Lima, we unite for what we believe is the fundamental human rights issue threatening our very own existence today. Global climate action gives us hope that we can still see a future free from the most devastating effects of climate change.”
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam are all members of the V20.
“The world needs stronger voices from developing countries to draw more attention to their great needs for investment in fighting the impacts from climate change,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “This new group of 20 countries, led by the Philippines, will play an important role in pushing for greater investment in climate resiliency and low carbon growth at home and internationally.”