The Commonwealth’s Climate Finance Access Hub aims to more than double the number of advisers deployed to help vulnerable countries unlock funds to tackle climate change.
The hub’s steering committee met in London from 19 to 20 March, welcoming plans to expand its network of experts embedded in government ministries, from the nine that have been deployed since the launch of the programme in 2016, to 23 by 2021.
This builds on the hub’s recent success whereby a total of £19.7 million has been secured to support 31 climate projects in nine countries - a six-fold increase within a year, up from £3 million in March 2018. A further £285 million worth of projects is in the pipeline.
Chair of the steering committee, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mauritius Jaganathan Parasivam Rangan said: “The Climate Finance Access Hub is now a proven model in assisting countries to enhance the flow of climate finance.
“In a short span of time, the hub has made substantial capacity enhancement contributions and mobilised financing for its client countries.”
The steering committee provides strategic direction for the hub. Members include Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bangladesh, Namibia and Tonga, with Mauritius as chair.
The hub sees a small staff complement managing a network of experts who help countries develop strong applications for international donors to fund viable climate projects. These ‘national advisers’ spend up to three years on the ground working with government ministries, passing on valuable knowledge and skills.
Members also discussed how to get additional support to expand the hub’s services, building on grants already received from Australia, the UK and Mauritius - as host of the hub’s headquarters.
The meeting was followed by a two-day training session designed to keep national advisers up-to-speed on the evolving climate finance landscape and to share national and regional experiences.
Mr Rangan said: “Given its success and progress, I strongly believe the Climate Finance Access Hub is a good model to enhance national capacity, to reduce disaster risk and unlock the potential for climate finance for climatically vulnerable countries.”