Eight Asian countries have joined 12 other nations to form the Vulnerable 20 (V20) group to pool resources for the fight against the impact of global warming. The launch took place on 8 October.
The Philippines’s Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima is the inaugural chairman of the group, whose members are most vulnerable to climate change and which include some of the world’s smallest and poorest countries. Apart from the Philippines, the V20 members consist of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
“We are low- and middle-income, least developed, arid, isthmus, landlocked, mountainous and small-island developing countries,” the group said in a statement. “Home to close to 700 million people – or approximately one in 10 alive today, we are united in our shared vulnerability and exposure to climate change.”
The V20, which held its inaugural meeting in Lima, Peru, approved an action plan to tackle changing climate for the next five years.
Climate risk pooling mechanism
In a major first step, the V20 agreed to set up a “climate risk pooling mechanism,” where both governments and the private sector would contribute and provide insurance funds to help nations absorb the impact of natural calamities. The fund would be activated once a disaster strikes a particular V20 member. No target fund amount was given, although the group mentioned that contributions will be based on a “risk-determined pricing” system coupled with “index-based” risk transfers from one nation to the next.
Mr Purisima said: “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,” he said.