Commonwealth partnership develops new tools to improve climate finance attractiveness for vulnerable countries

14 December 2022
Press release
Commonwealth Secretary-General The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC speaking at an event

Today, the Commonwealth Secretariat and Cambridge University’s Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD) are hosting a collaborative workshop for climate finance experts to examine new tools designed to improve climate finance attractiveness for Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Today marks the launch of phase three of the joint Their Future, Our Action project, a two-year collaboration between the Commonwealth Secretariat and CRSD that focuses on enabling small states to attract sustainable finance opportunities for young people and biodiversity, two essential components of achieving sustainable development.

A key challenge to creating sustainable and investable projects in developing markets is the collection and analysis of appropriate data to support investment. To address this gap, the Their Future, Our Action team has developed two new data tools - the ‘Political Economic Resilience Index (PERI)’ and ‘The Cambridge-Commonwealth Sustainable Investment Marker (CSIM)’.

Ahead of the workshop, Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC said:

“The Their Future, Our Action project is on track to deliver a new type of sustainable investment model for Small Island Developing States, and those who wish to invest in them. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the constant threat of climate disasters, vulnerable countries are facing high debt levels and debt distress. Today’s workshop will aim to leverage the global expertise of attendees to help operationalise sustainable finance solutions for SIDS, through the design of an institutional mechanism to de-risk investments both for countries and investors.”

Speaking about the development of the new tools, Dr Nazia Mintz Habib FRSA, Founder of CRSD said:

“We deployed over twelve systems thinking methodologies to identify actionable outcomes that the Commonwealth Secretariat can realistically offer the governments of Small Island Developing States to attract sustainable finance. At the same time, evidence-based outcomes namely the Political-Economic Resilience Index improves investors’ confidence by de-risking the deal-making process.

This collaboration with the Commonwealth is a game-changer engagement for us and the event today is part of the rigorous process we are taking to validate our data. We are overcoming the disciplinary limitations, institutional conservatism, and traditional understanding of investment processes and diversifying who can leverage existing mechanisms to attract investors to SIDS.”

The Commonwealth covers 56 diverse member countries from five geographical regions, including 33 small states, 25 of which are Small Island Developing States. Discussions this year at COP27 reiterated the growing demand for sustainable and resilient investment opportunities globally, with a shortfall in suitable projects.

This disconnect between global demand for investable opportunities, and the need for SIDS to attract greater sources of finance, highlights the urgent need for an innovative system of funding that addresses the specific challenges faced by SIDS.

Thus far, the Their Future, Our Action collaboration has engaged with over 400 young people from SIDS, global and national experts, and national policymakers from across the Commonwealth, multilateral agencies, regional development banks and civil societies.

The work of the ‘Their Future our Action’ project expands on the long history of Commonwealth Secretariat support to members countries on access to finance and sovereign debt management issues through initiatives such as the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, the Commonwealth Meridian Program and the Commonwealth Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governor’s Meetings.

The Cambridge-Commonwealth Sustainable Investment Marker (CSIM) is a new opportunity to support and coordinate financing mechanisms between Commonwealth member states.

Their Future, Our Action has already piloted this model and garnered over USD 10 million for investments in preventive digital health across the Caribbean, and 10,000 training places through Simplilearn which will lead to new opportunities for young people across the region as well as improved health outcomes.

Learn more about the 'Their Future, Our Action' project

Notes to Editors

About the Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD)

The CRSD is a global research institute using action-based research and systems-based analysis to solve complex dynamic policy and economic problems. A key project output is the development of new systems-based, risk-informed approaches to accessing climate and development finance for Small Island Developing States.  Led by Dr Nazia Mintz Habib FRSA, the Centre is focused on achieving sustainable development, good governance and responsible innovation.

About the Commonwealth Secretariat

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal sovereign states. Our combined population is 2.5 billion, of which more than 60 per cent is aged 29 or under. The Commonwealth spans the globe and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. Thirty-three of our members are small states, many of which are island nations.

The Commonwealth Secretariat supports member countries to build democratic and inclusive institutions, strengthen governance and promote justice and human rights. Our work helps to grow economies and boost trade, deliver national resilience, empower young people, and address threats such as climate change, debt and inequality. Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations. 


Media contact

  • Rena Gashumba  Communications Adviser, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • T: +44 7483 919 968  |  E-mail