Finance Ministers know most clearly the economic consequences of climate change: both the risks posed by its mounting impacts to their economies, as well as, increasingly, the opportunities of climate action which could unlock $26 trillion globally in investments and create 65 million more jobs through 2030. They can also play a leading role in tackling climate change, incentivizing climate-informed public expenditure, and utilizing climate fiscal tools such as carbon taxes and emissions trading systems to cut emissions and prioritize low-carbon growth.
At the 2018 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Bali, Indonesia, governments from 39 countries came together to boost their collective engagement on climate action. The group recognized the challenges posed by climate change, the unique capacity of the world's finance ministers to address them, and ways in which these efforts could be strengthened. Several governments expressed strong support for the development of a Coalition of Finance Ministers, which would promote cohesion between domestic and global action on climate change, boost ambitions, reaffirm commitments, and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement.
In December 2018, the Finance Ministers of Finland and Chile, supported by the World Bank's Climate Action Peer Exchange (CAPE) initiative, agreed to co-lead the Coalition and invited other governments to meet and discuss its structure, focus, and goals for the coming 2 years.
In April 2019, governments from over twenty countries joined forces to launch the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, which recognized the challenges posed by climate change, the unique capacity of the world's finance ministers to address them, and the ways in which these efforts could be strengthened through collective engagement.
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.
Since its launch, finance ministers from fifty countries have signed on to the 'Helsinki Principles', a set of six aspirational principles that promote national climate action, especially through fiscal policy and the use of public finance.
The countries that have endorsed the Helsinki Principles are:
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