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Commonwealth deploys top national climate finance advisers in Belize, Eswatini, Seychelles and Zambia

14 September 2020

Commonwealth national climate finance advisers have begun work in Belize, Eswatini, Seychelles and Zambia to help them access funding to tackle climate change.

Climate finance

The four advisers have joined respective government departments and are helping develop climate strategies and prepare grant applications for ‘climate finance’ – funds reserved to support developing countries in cutting emissions and adapting to climate change.

They will also help the departments build in-house climate finance expertise and strengthen their capacity to plan, access, deliver, monitor and report on climate finance in line with national priorities.

Accessing climate finance on a larger scale is critical if small and other vulnerable states are to reduce emissions, as agreed in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, and adapt to the risks posed by climate change.

Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub

As of September, through advisers such as these, the Commonwealth Secretariat has helped member countries secure a total of $33.9 million of funding for 23 climate action projects through its Climate Finance Access Hub. An additional $648 million worth of projects has been applied for and is in the pipeline.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “Across the world, people are suffering from crippling climate impacts, whether through increasing global temperature, scorching droughts, extreme weather and sea-level rises, which cause untold loss, suffering and damage, particularly in small and vulnerable countries.

“Although multi-billion-dollar climate funds are created, countries are often mired in red tape and the cumbersome conditions required to access these resources.

“The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub is making impressive progress in unlocking much-needed resources for countries that would not otherwise have the capacity to develop successful applications for the pledged funds.

“I am delighted to welcome the newly-appointed climate finance advisers to our Commonwealth family. They will help countries translate their climate targets into practical action by building capacity, exchanging knowledge and skills, and setting up projects to tackle climate change.”

Technical assistance

In Seychelles, Kai Kim is providing strategic and technical assistance to strengthen the country’s institutional processes and structures to seek, receive and utilise climate finance.

Ranga Pallawala and Othniel Yila are helping Belize and Zambia respectively to develop national climate finance roadmap and NDCs financing strategies to set out investment plans for achieving climate targets.

In Eswatini, Patrick Karani is creating a framework to review how climate-related spending is included in the national budgeting process. The findings will help the government with evidence-based decision-making on budgeting for climate action.

Global coalition on climate action

The recently appointed Commonwealth climate finance advisers for Belize, Eswatini and Zambia are co-financed by the NDC Partnership – a global coalition on climate action – as part of its Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) programme.

Under this CAEP programme, the Hub will also assist Jamaica to assess the socio-economic consequences of climate change on its national budget and spending – supervised by the Hub’s national adviser in the country, Katherine Blackman.