Finance ministers and senior officials from 15 developing economies across Asia and the Pacific met today at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila to discuss enhanced economic and financial responses to climate change.
The 3-day regional consultation of the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Ministers of Finance (V20) aims to mobilize international, regional, and national investment for climate action, as well as discuss financial instruments for disaster risk reduction, public financial management, and carbon pricing. It is supported by ADB, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank Group, and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.
“Climate-vulnerable countries such as the Philippines fought to enshrine a 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming limit in the Paris Agreement not only to survive but also to thrive. We have to transition to clean energy-powered economies not just because it will save the climate but also because it will produce more jobs and pump prime the economy,” said Philippine Senator Loren Legarda, who opened the consultation.
Led by the Philippines when it was established in 2015, the V20 has expanded to 43 developing economies from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The 15 participating countries in the Asia-Pacific consultation include Ethiopia (the current V20 Chair), Bangladesh, Barbados, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Fiji, Kiribati, Maldives, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Palau, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Viet Nam.
“Eighteen of the 43 V20 countries are developing member countries of ADB, representing 40% of ADB’s total developing country membership. We are delighted to host this important regional consultation to implement the V20’s 5-year Action Plan,” said Preety Bhandari, ADB’s Director for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management. “ADB looks forward to supporting the V20 in moving forward on its agreed actions in Asia and the Pacific, maintaining a continuing and open dialogue to strengthen climate resilience, and ensuring that ADB assistance is tailored to support the achievement of V20 priorities, both nationally and regionally.”
The event will support the roll out of the V20 Action Plan — adopted in 2015 to address V20 climate finance needs — and provide an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience between the countries in support of enhanced climate finance and technical capabilities. It will also focus on disaster risk financing to strengthen the countries’ financial resilience against disaster risk at national and international levels.
“If not managed well, disasters can roll back years of development gains and plunge millions of people into poverty,” said Olivier Mahul, Program Manager for Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program, the World Bank Group. “Today, on International Women’s Day, let us not forget that women are among the vulnerable after a disaster, as the economic devastation exacerbates gender equality.”
Finance ministers from Kiribati, Palau, and Sri Lanka, and government officials from the Philippines are also attending the opening day event apart from representatives of international and regional development banks, international organizations, civil society, business community, media, and the academe.