Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub in the Pacific takes stock

06 March 2024
Delegates at the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub Pacific regional meeting

Commonwealth climate finance advisors, along with beneficiary countries and regional and bilateral partners, convened in Canberra, Australia, from February 26 to 27, 2024. The meeting marked the conclusion of the first regional stocktake for the Pacific, aimed at evaluating the advancements facilitated by the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH) in the region.

Supporting climate actions in the Pacific

Delegates lauded the substantial impact of the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub in the Pacific, which included the approval of 17 projects and the mobilisation of US$40.75 million in climate finance funding. Additionally, the CCFAH reported the successful provision of policy support to six countries and the training of 756 officers in the region. CCFAH’s efforts in gender and youth integration in all its activities were highly commended.

Over the course of the two-day event, experts conducted a comprehensive analysis of the evolving climate finance landscape, identifying potential sources of financing. The primary objective was to formulate a cohesive strategy for beneficiary countries, promoting collaboration and enabling them to leverage opportunities effectively.

The stocktaking sessions served as a crucial platform for evaluating technical engagements, fostering discussions on best practices, and addressing challenges and opportunities to scale up successful interventions.

In her keynote address, Kate Wallace, Acting First Assistant Secretary for Multilateral Policy at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Australia, provided an overview of Australia's initiatives in the Pacific concerning climate finance. She underscored the Australian Government's commitment to supporting climate actions in the Pacific through various forms of assistance.

During his opening remarks, Dr Oldman Koboto, Adviser and Manager of CCFAH, noted the presence of government officials from Fiji, Sri Lanka, Nauru, Tuvalu, Tonga and Solomon Islands, at the meeting. The gathering also included climate experts from the International Solar Alliance (ISA), UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), UNITAR-UNOSAT (United Nations Satellite Centre) and Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5C).

Representing bilateral partners were Rohan Campbell, Director of the Commonwealth/Multilateral Order and Candidacies Branch at Australia's DFAT, Peter Elder, Director of Climate Finance at DFAT, Sandra L'Anson, Assistant Director in the Climate Section at DFAT, and Billie Selby from the United Kingdom's Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.

Exploring innovative finance solutions and expanding partnerships

While acknowledging the efforts of CCFAH, it was recommended that CCFAH further explore more innovative finance solutions involving a whole-of-society approach and move towards more impactful and integrated projects which cater to the intersection of the three UN Conventions on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Combatting Desertification.

It was also recommended that CCFAH expand its existing partnerships with other regional programmes, accredited entities, institutions and development partners to improve coordination. This would enhance integration of efforts, avoid duplication, promote knowledge sharing and South-South collaboration as well as catalyse advocacy actions.

The regional stocktakes of the CCFAH are mandated by the CCFAH Steering Committee. At present, the CCFAH exhibits a robust presence in the Pacific, with national advisers stationed in Nauru, Tuvalu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands. Additionally, a regional adviser also supports the Asia-Pacific Region.