Countries vulnerable to climate change form bloc

The Vulnerable 20 group will represent 700 million people living in states most likely to be affected by global warming.

    Many island nations are under threat from rising sea levels [AP]
    Many island nations are under threat from rising sea levels [AP]

    Twenty of the countries most vulnerable to climate change have formed a new group to press for tougher action to curb global warming. 

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    Draft documents for a meeting of finance ministers in Lima, Peru and seen by the Reuters news agency on Thursday, said the 20 represented 700 million people in low- and middle-income nations that were arid, landlocked, mountainous or vulnerable to rising sea levels.

    Members will be Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, East Timor, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

    The Vulnerable 20 (V20) group's draft action plan will seek to "strengthen economic and financial cooperation and action to address climate change risks and opportunities" and promote a shift to a low carbon global economy.

    Goals would include "improved access to international climate change finance" to help cope with droughts, floods, melting glaciers and rising sea levels. They said one possibility was a tax on financial transactions.

    Climate change deaths

    The 20 said they accounted for just two percent of world greenhouse gas emissions but had suffered an average of more than 50,000 deaths a year since 2010 from impacts they linked to rising temperatures.

    They estimated that they faced "escalating losses of at least 2.5 percent of our GDP potential per year, estimated at $45bn since 2010."

    They said they would also share experiences and work for a sovereign V20 Climate Risk Pooling Mechanism, an insurance facility to spread risks and help recovery after extreme weather events and disasters.

    Ministers from the 20 nations are due to approve the documents before meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Lima starting on Friday.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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