World’s poorest urge G20 to make long-term climate plans

Chair of Climate Vulnerable Forum looks to Merkel for leadership as developing countries try to ratchet up pressure on wealthy nations

School children in the Philippines contemplate the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Climate change is making tropical storms more intense (Pic: Pio Arce/Genesis Photos)


Put your money where your mouth is.

That’s the demand from a coalition of 43 of the poorest and most climate vulnerable countries ahead of July’s G20 summit in Hamburg.

They want governments from the wealthy Group of 20 to start work on long term plans to ditch fossil fuels ahead of a UN climate policy review in 2018.

“Chancellor Merkel now should convince as many of her G20 partners as possible to develop and submit their national 2050 strategies by 2018, in order to inform the global stock take and enable a lifting up of ambitions,” says the open letter to the German leader.

Last month an official working with Germany told Climate Home climate change and carbon pricing would be one of the central pillars of its presidency through 2017.

Authored by Abraham Tekeste, Ethiopia’s minister of finance and economics and chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum group, the address makes no mention of incoming US president Donald Trump.

The billionaire is likely to cancel further payments from the US to the UN-backed Green Climate Fund, which was set up to help poor nations cope with extreme weather and invest in green energy.

CVF does call on “international financial institutions” to align their investments with the UN goal to try and limit warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, agreed in 2015.

“Criteria need to be developed and applied that fosters green investments and also stops public money from flowing into old technologies that harm the climate when green opportunities for growth and resilience are available,” writes Tekeste.

On Wednesday, leading climate science agencies confirmed 2016 was the hottest year on record, and said average global temperatures have now inched up 1.1C since records began.

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