Drought in Vietnam (Source: VNA)

Finance ministers from 20 of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, including Vietnam, held their first meeting on October 8 in Lima, Peru, to launch the "V20" group to counter the impacts of global warming.

The event took place ahead of a meeting of finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the G20 group of leading industrialised and emerging economies, also in the Peruvian capital.

V20 finance ministers agreed to raise funds to address the risks of climate change as well as mobilise financial resources to protect people suffering from the impacts of global warming.

The V20 is expected to foster their economic and financial collaboration via practical activities to fight climate change and boost the development of green economies globally.

The group’s objectives include enhancing access to international investments in climate change adaptation in a bid to address droughts, floods, ice cap melting and rising sea levels.

Additionally, the finance ministers agreed to establish a joint funding mechanism to enable participating economies to improve their ability to recover from disasters and ensure enhanced access to cost-efficient insurance while encouraging alternative adaptation measures.

They expressed their hope that developed nations would fulfil their pledge to mobilise 100 billion USD a year to finance the group by 2020.

In the absence of an effective global response, annual economic losses due to climate change are projected to exceed 400 billion USD by 2030 for the V20, said Cesar Purisima, Finance Minister of the Philippines, who presided over the meeting.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres urged the global community to provide significant and timely funding to help the V20, saying that climate change is not only an environmental issue but is also a fundamental economic issue and requires urgent financial solutions.

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

With a combined population exceeding 700 million, the V20 groups together the world's smallest and poorest countries most affected by global climate change.

Since 2010, more than 50,000 fatalities have been reported annually indirectly related to global warming.-VNA