Kemi Osukoya


APRIL 13, 2019

Global finance ministers from twenty three countries have partnered to launch a new alliance aimed at accelerating climate change goals.

The new alliance, named Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, aims to drive stronger collective action on climate change and its impacts using a set of six common beliefs known as the “Helsinki Principles,” that promote national climate action, especially through fiscal policy and the use of public finance.

The announcement was made Saturday during the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund.

The Helsinki Principles, named after the capital of Finland where the idea was initially hatched during a high-level global governments meeting in February, are designed to support finance ministers to share best practices and experiences on macro, fiscal, and public financial management policies for low-carbon and climate-resilient growth. The Principles will help ministers plan concrete, effective policy measures to address the climate crisis nationally, regionally and globally.

Four African countries, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda joined Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and Uruguay as signatories to the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action.

The coalition will help countries mobilize and align the finance needed to implement their national climate action plans; establish best practices such as climate budgeting and strategies for, green investment and procurement; and factor climate risks and vulnerabilities into members’ economic planning.

Speaking in support of the newly launched alliance, World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva said the coalition demonstrates new levels of ambition from decision makers in the fiscal policy arena, and provides an important platform for Finance Ministers to share best practice on the jobs and growth benefits of the new climate economy.“Finance ministries have a crucial role to play in accelerating the global shift to a low-carbon, climate-resilient growth model,” said Ms. Georgieva.

The World Bank will serve as secretariat for the Coalition and will partner with various institutions to provide strategic and technical support to governments, including the IMF, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, UNFCCC Secretariat, UN Development Programme, other UN agencies and the NDC Partnership.

France’s Minister of Finance and Economy Bruno Le Maire added that the role finance can and must play in the transition to a low carbon economy is often underestimated. “Many countries have already developed interesting initiatives at a national or regional level such as green bonds in France or the Emissions Trading System in the EU. Sharing experiences can only be useful. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres gave President Macron a mandate to accelerate climate finance in the run-up to the Climate Summit in September. In this perspective, we are calling for collectively and urgently step up our actions to meet the Paris Agreement commitment,” said Mr. Le Maire.

*The news has been updated with the names of the 23 countries that signed on to the Coalition.