Commonwealth guide to boost access to ocean climate finance

29 November 2022
Aerial view of a fish farm

A new guide published by the Commonwealth Secretariat aims to upskill governments and partner organisations in mobilising funds for ocean-based climate change projects.

While 49 of the Commonwealth’s 56 member countries border the ocean, including 25 small island developing states (SIDS), securing finance for marine-based climate action remains a challenge. The sector is often not well-understood by governments and is less attractive to investors when compared to traditional land-based solutions.

Moreover, international funding for ocean-based climate change projects remains disproportionately small, despite the rapid growth of global climate finance flows. For example, it is estimated that less than 2 per cent of funding provided by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has gone to projects with ocean-related elements.

The newly launched guide seeks to address some of these challenges by simplifying the ocean climate finance terrain and outlining tried-and-tested methods for developing more successful proposals for submission to international funders and investors.

Head of Oceans and Natural Resources at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr Nicholas Hardman-Mountford explained:

“Compared to well-established land-based climate actions, such as installing solar energy grids or clean transportation, ocean-based projects face unique barriers. Environmental factors associated with coastlines or wetlands can be challenging, investment risks are less well understood and building the partnerships needed for success can be complex.

“This newly-launched document provides a clear and practical guide for project design and development, including best practices for securing finance and a wealth of tools and resources for those seeking funding for ocean-based initiatives.”

Now available online, the guide covers the range of different sources and types of finance available from both public and private sectors. It also outlines various investment models, case studies and best practice examples, supported by useful tools to identify the best funding match and develop robust pitches and funding applications.

The publication complements other tools developed through the Commonwealth Blue Charter to assist countries in securing funding for ocean projects, including training on proposal writing, an ocean-funders database and a new government-focused project incubator. The Commonwealth Blue Charter Project Incubator was launched earlier this year at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, with the first call for proposals opened during COP27 and closing on 10th January 2023.   

Download the Commonwealth Ocean Climate Finance Guide

This publication was commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat and supported by funding from the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation and the Government of United Kingdom; however, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies. 


Media contact

  • Josephine Latu-Sanft  Senior Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • +44 20 7747 6476  |  E-mail