Top 20 most vulnerable countries call for Robin Hood Tax to fight climate change

V20 coalition launched in Lima proposes ways to raise funds for climate adaptation projects.

Lima, Peru (14 Oct. 2015) — The finance ministers from around the world recently met in Lima, Peru, to decide where they’re going to get the money to respond to climate change. The world’s richest countries have promised to raise $100 billion to help poorer countries deal with climate change.

But they’re still far from their target. Failing to raise the money within the time frame could have very serious consequences for millions of people facing extreme climate change.

In response, a new group of 20 of the most vulnerable nations formed - the V20.

The V20

The V20 are the top 20 states most at risk from the catastrophic effects of climate change. From Afghanistan to Vietnam, these countries’ finance ministers have demanded that the world’s most powerful nations step up and close the funding gap.

The V20 are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

“Climate shocks already exceed our regional/national capabilities at approximately half our target level of global warming of not more than 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures,” the V20 said in a statement released.

One of the V20s demands is to raise the climate funds through a global Robin Hood Tax. The head of the UN Development Programme praised the V20’s vision to “deploy innovation in finance,” noting that ideas like the Robin Hood Tax could help “knock down barriers” to climate action.

Climate change will be devastating for many countries

The finance minister from the Philippines (one of the V20) argued that coolectively these countries’ economies would stand to lose more than $400 billion by 2030 if targets were not met (not to mention other costs to human life and the environment).

With the V20 representing some of the world’s poorest countries, there’s little hope of them being able to raise this amount by themselves. Nor should they be expected to foot the bill.

The countries with the greatest carbon footprints also happen to be those with the largest financial markets. The V20 representatives argue that it is reasonable and fair to tax those markets more and use the funds to help people adapt to climate change.

Money raised to help poor nations adapt

Money from taxing financial markets could help countries adapt to rising sea levels by setting up early warning systems for increased storm surge and flooding, or by preparing them for droughts by breeding crop varieties that are more tolerant of heat and drought.

By acting together, the V20 recognised that they can have a stronger voice at these negotiations and beyond. 

In the crucial months before world leaders meet at the global climate summit in Paris, the G20 needs to heed the call of the V20: make sure that the financial sector is doing its bit to help combat climate chaos.

More information:

Vulnerable Twenty Group Founded

Climate vulnerable states despair of rich, launch finance plan


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