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Climate Finance Access Hub critical for sustainable development, says Mauritius

9 December 2016

The Commonwealth’s Climate Finance Access Hub is a valuable instrument for the realisation of the Paris agreement on climate change and the internationally-agreed sustainable development goals, the government of Mauritius has stated.

Speaking at a steering committee meeting of the Hub, Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, the acting foreign affairs minister of Mauritius, praised the Commonwealth initiative which will help climate-vulnerable countries access pledged funds for climate action.

Climate change, Mr Gayan said, “poses an existential threat to small island developing states”. Its impact, he added, is already being felt with dire economic consequences. The Minister also promised that Mauritius will do “all that it can to enhance the work of the Hub”.

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs #Mauritius "#ClimateFinance Access Hub means a lot to #SIDS & #LDCs" #Commonwealth pic.twitter.com/ji1KrMY6rq

— The Commonwealth (@commonwealthsec) December 7, 2016

Chaired by Mauritius, which is helping to finance the Hub, the inaugural meeting was attended by officials from across the Commonwealth, both from countries that are contributing to the Hub and those that hope to benefit from it. Australia, a major donor, was represented by Susan Coles - the country’s high commissioner to Mauritius. Andrea Jacobs from the department of environment in Antigua and Barbuda and Ofa Ma'asi Kaisamy from the department of climate change in the Kingdom of Tonga represented countries that have applied for assistance. Currently fourteen Commonwealth countries have requested support. The first national advisor will begin work in Antigua and Barbuda in January.

“There is a huge demand for support from this initiative. It is clear that our members recognise its critical importance in boosting human and institutional resources to untangle the red tape countries face to access money already pledged for climate action. Ultimately, our aim is to help them adapt to the impacts of climate change, transition to low carbon economies and attain the sustainable development goals,” said Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Deodat Maharaj.

He added: “I am very pleased that things are moving swiftly. Since signing a hosting agreement with Mauritius in September, we have recruited an experienced manager, received guidance from a steering committee and will have advisors on the ground in very early January.”

Australia strongly supports climate vulnerable countries. Proud 2support #ClimateFinance Access Hub, Susan Coles HC #Australia to #Mauritius pic.twitter.com/nmsUmhjTWv

— The Commonwealth (@commonwealthsec) December 7, 2016

Hub manager Bilal Anwar said the conclusion of the first meeting of the steering committee is an important milestone. “We now have a clear vision for the activities of the next year. By laying out the fundamental elements of the Hub’s operations the committee gave us the roadmap to proceed with its capacity support to Commonwealth climate-vulnerable countries.”

WATCH @bilal1anwar (The #Commonwealth #ClimateFinance Access Hub Manager) talk about #climatechange & access to finance. @COP22 #cop22 pic.twitter.com/6lUCk9JC6B

— The Commonwealth (@commonwealthsec) November 18, 2016

Act. Min.Foreign Affairs #Mauritius "#ClimateFinance Hub will not only be great instrument in realisation of #ParisAgreement but #SDGs too"

— The Commonwealth (@commonwealthsec) December 7, 2016