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The Santiago Action Plan: A Silver Lining on Finance on the Margins of COP25

Despite COP25 failing to deliver its main objectives, something good came out from Madrid. While outside of the scope of the climate negotiations, the Santiago Action Plan was launched by the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action during the Green Finance Day at COP25. The Santiago Action Plan represents a key step to accelerate the shift of financial flows towards low carbon and climate-resilient investments, helping to realize Article 2.1.c of the Paris Agreement.

The Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action was launched in April 2019 to mainstream climate change considerations into economic and financial policy decisions. Co-chaired by Chile and Finland, and comprised of 51 countries,[1] the Coalition announced the Helsinki Principles, six principles that seek to promote stronger national climate action, especially through carbon pricing, macro-fiscal policy, public budgeting, and financial sector initiatives.

After months of work, the Coalition agreed on the Santiago Action Plan, which was launched during COP25’s Green Finance Day. The Santiago Action Plan lays the foundation for the Coalition’s countries to deliver on each of the Helsinki Principles, including: knowledge sharing on carbon pricing initiatives; capacity building to support Finance Ministries in integrating climate into economic policies; identifying and disclosing climate adaptation fiscal costs and climate financial risks; and supporting more ambitions NDCs.

CCAP helped organize some of the Green Finance Day events that preceded the Coalition Meeting and the launch of the Santiago Action Plan on December 9th, 2019. For instance, the side event on implementing Article 2.1.c of the Paris Agreement focused on the role of private actors to align all financial flows with climate-compatible goals—curbing emissions, enhancing resilience at a systemic level, and addressing climate-related risks. This is directly in line with the Helsinki Principle 5, which calls for the mobilization of private sources of climate finance by facilitating investments and the development of a financial sector that supports climate mitigation and adaptation.

The Santiago Action Plan marshals a critical new actor to help address the climate crisis. Agreed actions will promote needed financial shifts at the national level while fostering enhanced coordination and peer-to-peer learning to support strong practices globally.

[1] Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Finland, Fiji, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tonga, Uganda, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.

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