FEATURE STORY

“Vulnerable Twenty” Ministers Call for More Action and Investment in Climate Resiliency and Low-Emissions Development

October 8, 2015

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Residents try to resume their daily activities after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the city of Tacloban in the Philippines.

Photo: Dominic Chavez/World Bank

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Finance Ministers of the ‘Vulnerable Twenty’ (V20) representing close to 700 million people from 20 countries around the globe, hold their inaugural meeting during the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru on October 8.
  • The new group is calling for a significant mobilization of public and private finance for climate action at the international, regional and domestic level ahead of the COP21 talks in Paris.
  • The V20 was created to share and scale up innovative approaches to climate finance developed by those countries most affected by climate change.

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.”


" 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. 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. "
Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group

Jim Yong Kim

World Bank Group President

And speaking at the launch, the Bank Group’s Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati also supported the V20’s aims to share its lessons and experiences on the ground.

She said countries could learn for instance from the Philippines with its initiatives to mainstream climate change into the budget process – so public funds are prioritized for vulnerability and risks to the community, while aiming to create a policy environment to spur private sector investment.

The Philippines government is also at the forefront of countries that are mapping out proactive disaster risk financing strategies.  With the technical support of the Global Facility for Disaster Risk and Reduction (GFDRR) and the World Bank, the Philippines government recently approved a new National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management plan that streamlines disbursement procedures in emergencies so that rapid response and recovery operations can be undertaken more quickly. 

The plan also facilitates longer term, sustainable investments and policy reforms.

Another V20 member, Bangladesh, is also breaking ground with the Urban Resilience Project, an initiative driven by a three-year process helped by the GFDRR and the World Bank to build consensus among national decision-makers and technical experts on how to tackle the complex issue of urban disaster vulnerability.  The $173 US million fund will provide state-of-the-art emergency management systems and equipment, and improve building construction planning and oversight in the country’s major cities, Dhaka and Sylhet.

In Mozambique, the Bank Group has been working to leverage funds to help bring in reforms with innovations on the ground in key sectors like transport, cities and water, to mainstream climate resilience.

The World Bank Group – through the Climate Investment Funds’ Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) - has been piloting ways to integrate climate risk and resilience into core development planning. In the Caribbean, funding from PPCR as well as IDA, the Bank’s fund for the poorest, has been aiming to help vulnerable states go beyond disaster response to address climate resilience.

Among some of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, the V20 nations provide a real-time test bed for climate investments.  Their hope is to share experiences and best practices, as well as to mobilize both public and private finance to tackle the challenges that lie ahead with a changing climate. 

To find out more about the V20 Forum, visit their official website: http://www.thecvf.org/