Third Ministerial Dialogue Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group
06 October 2016 (12:15 pm to 1:45 pm) Washington DC, USA
H.E. Mr. Abdulaziz Mohammed, Minister, Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation of Ethiopia
Your Excellency Mr. Carlos Dominguez, Secretary of Finance of the Philippines,,
Madam Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme,
Excellencies, Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to address you at this important occasion as the incoming chair of the Vulnerable Twenty – our “V20” Group of Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. I would like to start by extending my appreciation to the founding chair of V20, the Government of Philippines, for it leadership and commitment in shepherding the V20 process since its inception. I would also like to extend my warm gratitude to all of you for coming to this important knowledge-sharing platform.
As you well know, our countries consider the global climate change crisis as the defining development challenge of our time. We suffer the worst devastating effects from the lethal excesses caused by the world’s most gigantic externality. Therefore, we need to fight for our survival by combating climate change.
We must, of course, strive to implement climate change programmes and projects to attain development goals, including Sustainable Development Goals, in tandem. Home to one billion people, the V20 countries have strong economic growth, but we are also at the frontlines of the fight to alleviate widespread poverty and food insecurities that directly affect the life prospects and health of our people. The combination of poverty and climate shocks is a deadly formula that makes adaptation an acute humanitarian priority for the vulnerable countries. It is also no secret that climate change affects development and adaptation brings about many additional costs that are a tremendous challenge for our nations to bear. Given the realities of our capabilities, meeting the urgent need for the implementation of adaptation measures is simply not possible in the absence of the predictable and prompt provision of substantial new and additional public financial resources, environmentally sound technologies and capacity building that are equally important obligations. These are also investments guaranteed to save lives.
The destruction we have witnessed around the world has nevertheless demonstrated the limits of adaptation. On this overheated plane, global development must now alter its arc, and, following the Paris Agreement, we are all bound to strive to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. Ethiopia and the V20 Group have been working hard to participate in the drive for low carbon development as we seek to take maximum advantage of the benefits of renewable energy and other such opportunities to the limits of our very low capabilities. We are looking to climate action as a means to boost our growth. In this respect, our Group members are already clear leaders even in the area of climate change mitigation– take for instance the ambitious UN emission commitments of Ethiopia or Costa Rica as examples. We could, however, equally realize our low carbon ambitions to the fullest with enhanced support on financing, technology and capacity also in these domains. It is our contribution to advancing international cooperation and national action, moreover, that our V20 provides a unique climate-dedicated framework for exchange and dialogue among finance ministers and our respective ministries. We are focused on pushing for progress in the incubation of new and innovative financial and economic approaches to address climate change and promote climate resilience and low emission development. With our Action Plan, and the support of our partners, we aim to raise considerably greater resources for V20 climate action between now and 2020, including through international, regional and domestic mobilizations. With respect to each country’s capabilities, we also committed at our last Ministerial Dialogue to working to establish carbon pricing regimes within the decade.
The vulnerability of my country to the adverse impacts of climate change has spurred much policy debate in Ethiopia and beyond. We have responded by taking pioneering steps formally merging our aims to develop a green economy while building greater resilience to climate change within a single policy framework: this is the 2011 Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy. Significantly, that Strategy has now been mainstreamed into the national development plan: our Growth and Transformation Plan II (2015-2020). The Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) has also established a Facility in order to mobilize and access climate finance from bilateral and multilateral sources to realize this integrated Strategy. The inter-ministerial collaboration in managing this Facility, between the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, is a key institutional arrangement that will underpin the effective implementation of our country programmes.
Building on the favourable policy and institutional arrangement for addressing climate change and its impacts, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is pleased to assume the incoming chair of V20 through MoFEC and would like to express its commitment for its candid leadership for the achievement of the V20 vision, and to work towards the fulfilment of the Paris Climate Agreement at large.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, as incoming chair of V20, will strive to strengthening the efforts of member countries in mobilizing climate finance for the fulfilment of actions of our Group and, together with my colleagues and co-leads, will work to advance the contribution of the three working groups of V20 on: (1) advocacy and partnerships, (2) climate accounting and (3) climate risk. Moreover, it is important in exercising leadership for climate action to focus on advancing the interests and agenda of vulnerable countries through global negotiations and, where possible, exchanges with other structures of global economic governance. We look forward to discussing, for instance, with our counterpart, the incoming G20 Chair, Germany. We know many stakeholders look to our vulnerable nation Group to lead calls for ambitious global climate action–together we will try hard to fulfil this ambition. It is also our intention to continue to progress the work of the CVF and V20 both at the international level and as a motor for the implementation of effectiveness and innovation in financing climate actions at home. We are certain too that we can count on the continued and growing support of our development partners which will be such a critical factor in enabling further joint work of our group of middle income andleast developed countries and small island developing states as we move to intensify these every efforts.
Excellences Distinguished Participants
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am also confident that the deliberations in today’s meeting will support our negotiators in COP22, Marrakech to pitch our voice stronger on international climate finance issues not only for the full, and where possible, early achievement of 100 Billion USD per year 2020 mobilization target but also to make the case for scaled-up and predictable climate finance post 2020 and advance the agenda of V20.
I would also like to thank the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for its continued support of the V20 group and get us together in this important dialogue with very suitable timing as I sincerely hope that it will provide some useful insights and inputs to the implementation of V20 actions during Ethiopian presidency.
Finally, I am happy to join in opening this important event and wish all of you a successful deliberation.