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V20 calls for strengthened climate responses for economic and financial growth

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance met for the 2nd V20 Ministerial Dialogue on 14 April 2016 in conjunction with the 2016 Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group. 

During their inaugural meeting held in Lima, Peru in October 2015, V20 agreed on a V20 Action Plan that focused on attaining a significant increase in climate investment in their respective countries. Their founding Communique also called 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 to be held later that year. 

This year, V20 strengthens their commitment to the goals set in the Paris Agreement, retaining the less than 2 degrees Celsius target for top emitters while recognizing the importance of working towards a global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

“Let us be unequivocal about this: we need to achieve and undertake more ambitious targets, especially for top emitters. We will continue to advocate for a below 1.5 degrees Celsius target, as agreed in Lima last year. This is a matter of survival; settling for less ambitious goals means some of us, our people and our lands, would be wiped off the face of the earth by the ravaging effects of global warming,” V20 Chair, H.E. Cesar V. Purisima, Secretary of Finance of the Philippines, said in his opening statement. 

The 2nd Ministerial Dialogue also recognized 23 new V20 members, strengthening cooperation among economies that are home to almost one billion of the world’s population. 

“We see the financial system as a weapon to fight climate change with tremendous potential. So we are working hard to be pioneers in concrete and innovative economic and fiscal responses to climate change,” Secretary Purisima further added. 

The actions outlined in V20’s second Communique involves advancing the realization of their 2020 Action Plan with an initial series of National Regional Consultations to be hosted by Bangladesh and the Philippines, establishing Focus Groups on the areas of Advocacy and Partnerships, Climate Accounting, and Risk Pooling, enhancing financial protection by addressing financial resilience against climate and disaster risks at national and regional levels, and recognizing the important role of the private sector to mobilize and create investment opportunities in response to the challenges of climate change. 

“I look at this climate mitigation and adaptation effort as the ultimate PPP. It is important that we get the support of the private sector and private capital,” Secretary Purisima emphasized. 

“The overall purpose of the Paris Agreement is really to limit the risk that we absorb. Leadership on vulnerability is critical, and that leadership needs to be both political and practical,” Mr. Halldór Thorgeirsson, Director for Strategy of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Secretariat said in his statement, emphasizing the essential role of Ministers of Finance in taking forward the importance of national action and developing the local response. 

“Investments in resilience is one of the best investments. Part of the response is to build, accelerate and mobilize additional climate finance, but it is also essential that we look into all investments to our climate needs,” Mr. Thorgeirsson added.

With a view of supporting innovative revenue generating fiscal and financial measures to raise finance, V20 also commits to support carbon pricing by working to establish pricing regimes within the next decade and carrying out Financial Transaction Tax. – Philippine Embassy, Washington D.C.

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