Ministers from countries on the front line of climate change have urged rich nations to stop pouring money into the coal, oil and gas industries

Fragile communities: Ebeye atoll in the Marshall Islands (Photo: NASA)

The world’s 49 most climate vulnerable countries have called on the G20 to finally set a date – preferably 2020 – for a phase out of fossil fuel subsidies.

The richest 20 nations have pledged to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies over the “medium term”. But campaigners and investors have urged them to follow the G7 and set a deadline.

Those calls were repeated on Sunday by the finance ministers of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a political grouping of the countries that are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change because of geography and poverty.

In a communiqué issued at the end of its weekend meeting in Washington DC, the group called “for market distorting fossil fuel production subsidies to be removed immediately and no later than 2020, and urge the G20 to set such as adopt a clear timeframe for fossil fuel subsidy elimination”.

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The CVF meeting, which was chaired by Ethiopia, said subsidies for fossil fuels could…