A Commonwealth initiative designed to help small and other vulnerable states access international finances for tackling the effects of climate change, is poised to go global.
The proposal to scale the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub from 10 to 39 developing small states and other vulnerable countries was supported by 70 participants of the Commonwealth Symposium on Climate Finance held in Malta.
Held on 24-25 June, the event was jointly organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Government of Malta and the Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence (CSSOE).
It laid the groundwork for the expansion of the hub to the Climate Finance Access Service meaning the Commonwealth will be able to serve non-Commonwealth small states and other vulnerable states.
Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga told delegates: “This symposium will be an activity to reaffirm the importance of multilateralism. If we work together with the world and through bodies like the Commonwealth Secretariat, we can save these small island developing states.”
Participants from a large number of Commonwealth countries and international institutions shared information, successes and lessons learned. They reviewed the financing needs of the most climatically exposed countries and emphasized the need for widening the scope and scale of the hub’s activities.
Commonwealth senior director for economic, youth and social and sustainable development, Prajapati Trivedi, said: “The hub is now ready to share its successes, challenges, and lessons learned by partnering with other international organisations to replicate its implementation to all climatically vulnerable states.”
Since 2016 the hub has mobilised over USD 25.7 million with a further USD 500 in the pipeline. It has helped 10 Commonwealth small states in the form of 50 mitigation and adaptation projects.
Rocky Mountain Institute managing director, Paul Bodnar, said: “The Commonwealth has developed one of the most innovative interventions anywhere in the world in this space, which is the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub.”
The hub offers small states and least developed countries expertise to build capacity, bridge gaps in technical capabilities and unlock climate finance to access billions of dollars pledged for climate action.
These projects will help small states reduce emissions and address the effects of climate change on people and ecosystems.
Malta’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela, said: “Climate change is a multifaceted challenge and our response should be just as comprehensive. It is for this reason that climate change requires the cooperation of the international community.
“The Commonwealth has taken the lead in this respect. Malta is proud to be supporting small states on climate action through capacity building offered by the Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence.”
In 2015, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the government of Malta set up the CSSCOE which strengthens small states’ capacity to achieve their national and international goals.
The centre has provided technical assistance in areas including public debt management, diplomatic training, women enterprise development and ocean governance.