Rwanda joins the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Nations05.11.2015
Rwanda has joined forces with nineteen other climate vulnerable countries to call for more action to reduce global emissions and better financing for climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in developing nations.
As a land-linked country with a variable climate and mountainous terrain, Rwanda is at risk of increased weather extremes such as floods and droughts. Research conducted for the V20 estimates that the impact of climate change on Rwanda’s economy could be as high as 4.5% of Gross Domestic Product by 2030. The research also indicates that the health impacts of climate change for Rwandans are likely to be severe, including increased incidences of malaria and hot and cold weather related epidemics.
“Rwanda is one of many countries that have contributed almost nothing to the problem of climate change, but will bear the brunt of its impacts. By joining the V20, we are adding our voice to the message that the international community must do more to keep temperature rises below 1.5°C and support developing nations to adapt,” said Rwanda’s Minister of Finance Claver Gatete.
The idea to establish the V20 came about through the Climate Vulnerable Forum Costa Rica Action Plan for 2013-2015. The purpose of the V20 is to strengthen economic and financial standards on climate change as well as provide new approaches to mitigate climate impacts in developing countries. The Vulnerable 20 was launched on 8 October 2015 in Lima, Peru with 20 ministers of finance as representatives of each nation.
The countries that form the V20 include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
Speaking at the official inauguration, Cesar Purisima, the Philippines’ Finance Minister and chairman of the V20 emphasised the importance of tackling climate change before it’s too late.
“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, with impacts far surpassing our local or regional capabilities,” said Cesar Purisima, Finance Minister of the Philippines. “Here in Lima, we unite for what we believe is the fundamental human rights issue threatening our very own existence today. Global climate action gives us hope that we can still see a future free from the most devastating effects of climate change.”
Rwanda will attend the global climate agreement negotiations in Paris later this year and share its experience implementing innovative environment conservation programmes with V20 group members and the world at large. This includes the creation of the Green Fund - an environment and climate change financing mechanism that supports climate resilience projects across the country. The fund is the largest of its kind in Africa.
Learn more about the Vulnerable 20 group of nations at www.v-20.org.