Vulnerable nations call for ‘greater urgency’ on climate finance

September 28, 2023|Written by Scott Speer

Senior officials of nations vulnerable to climate change impacts have called on international financial institutions to take climate action “with a greater sense of urgency” at the latest gathering of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) during the UN General Assembly.

The CVF – a group of 68 climate-vulnerable countries focused on financing initiatives, advocacy and partnership efforts – convened to discuss the group’s achievements and plans for the upcoming year. Member governments adopted the CVF’s declaration which calls for “addressing the rapidly growing debt risks and immediate liquidity needs of vulnerable countries”. The declaration states that CVF members have accumulated US$686bn in total external public debt, amounting to 27% of the group’s GDP.

The Vulnerable 20 (V20) – a group of finance ministers from CVF member nations – commended the inclusion of the African Union in the G20 and called for formal recognition of the V20 itself as an official group within the IMF. The group emphasised that it expects the IMF, multilateral development banks, and key central banks to undertake significant actions in addressing these pressing issues.

The discussions covered a range of crucial topics, including the Accra-Marrakech agenda on debt and global finance reform, and the next steps of the emergency coalition on debt sustainability and climate prosperity.

According to a report produced by Debt Relief for a Green and Inclusive Recovery, debt service costs represent 93% of climate finance needs in Africa. The level of debt and loss and damages linked to climate change requires urgent financing, said Jean Victor Geneus, Haiti’s minister for foreign affairs and worship.

One of the central themes of the CVF meeting was financing initiatives to combat the climate crisis. These include:

Senior officials of the V20 concluded the meeting with a renewed commitment to driving climate resilience and advancing the shared prosperity of climate-vulnerable people, their economies and ecosystems.

Also speaking at the UN General Assembly was European Commission president  Ursula von der Leyen who did not address topics like loss and damage, but said the EU would provide €1bn of anchor investment to help spur up to €20bn of private investment in green bond markets.

Several other events addressing climate-vulnerable countries have taken place in the run-up to Cop28, including the Africa Climate Summit where Kenyan president William Samoei Ruto labelled African nations as “the new torch-bearers of the most impactful climate action”.

This page was last updated September 28, 2023

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