Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub is open for business

By Commonwealth Secretariat

In September 2015, the Commonwealth’s Climate Finance Access Hub was officially opened for business with the signing of the Hosting Agreement between the Government of Mauritius and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Credit: Commonwealth Secretariat

This pioneering initiative builds capacity in small and vulnerable member states to unlock the billions of dollars in pledged climate finance. The Hub’s innovative approach provides long-term, programmatic support over two years, as compared to other climate readiness initiatives offering only short term advisory support. It aims to assist small and vulnerable member states with limited capacities to bid for and gain access to climate finance by: building human and institutional capacity; supporting the development of pipelines of projects for climate finance; and facilitating accelerated learning through Cross-Commonwealth cooperation, and sharing of experiences and expertise.

Climate change is reversing progress on poverty alleviation, economic growth and stability across the world. There is compelling evidence that Small States and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are already suffering the impacts of climate change in a disproportional way. Although climate finance is being made available to developing countries through a number of international initiatives, these countries often do not have the capacity to access these funds. This was the finding of the 2013 Commonwealth Expert Group on Climate Finance that recommended the establishment of the Climate Finance Access Hub. The Hub was unanimously endorsed by the membership at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in November 2015 and has been supported with grant resources from the Government of Australia and in-kind support from the Government of Mauritius, the host of the Hub.

The Hub fills a clear niche and is designed to aid sustainability and coordination with experts also to be deployed to regional organisations, which provide support to member states on climate change. Knowledge management is also central to the operations of the Hub. Its networked approach enables swift sharing of knowledge within and across these regions, building capacity and facilitating South-South learning and cooperation. The Hub will also build mutually supportive partnerships with like-minded organisations and agencies in the field of climate change and climate finance. To date, 14 member states have requested support and technical advisers will be deployed in early 2017 to places such as the Caribbean, Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa to provide expert support. To meet members’ increasing demand, the Commonwealth is focussing on mobilising more resources to expand the programme and engaging with regional institutions to ensure full implementation.

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Copyright 2016 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs