The Government of Saint Lucia is rolling out fresh projects that aim to boost the flow of climate finance into the country, with the support of the Commonwealth and key partners.
Funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), these projects were developed with help from the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH). This flagship initiative works by embedding international experts embedded within government ministries to help them apply for and secure available climate finance.
To date, the Commonwealth National Climate Finance Adviser deployed in St Lucia, Ruth Phillips Itty, has helped mobilise around US$ 2 million towards achieving national climate change plans for adaptation and mitigation.
Targeting private investments, boosting efficiency
One of the projects, which received US$ 762,359 in GCF readiness grant funding, will enable the country to raise funds and private investments to support national climate plans and low-carbon development.
This project will analyse the country’s readiness for sovereign green bonds and debt-for-climate swaps and advance a concept for green resilient affordable housing in Saint Lucia using these innovative financing instruments. It will also help local financial institutions to integrate environmental and social standards into their products and instruments.
Another US$ 662,065 readiness grant from the GCF aims to tackle the country’s longstanding institutional barriers to unlocking climate funding, and boost efficiency in the government’s systems and institutions.
This project, implemented by the government with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) as delivery partner, is providing training to national stakeholders to enhance their understanding of the complex GCF requirements and processes. It is also exploring digital tools to help the government to monitor GCF processes, review funding proposals and track climate finance flows.
Commonwealth support welcomed
These efforts build on Saint Lucia’s first national readiness grant from 2018 – 2020 totalling US$375,100, which supported the development of a Country Programme and pipeline of project concept ideas for advancement through the GCF.
Permanent Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and National Designated Authority to the GCF, Claudius Emmanuel, acknowledged the support provided by the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub.
He said: “The office of the NDA is very appreciative of the support and guidance that is being provided by the Commonwealth National Climate Finance Adviser, Ruth Phillips Itty. She has been instrumental in the development and rolling out of a comprehensive Country Programme for Saint Lucia; implementation of the current projects and providing hands-on coaching to partner agencies in the development of funding proposals.”
Key lessons learned
Ms Itty has been supporting the Government of St Lucia to conceptualise, develop and review readiness proposals and concept notes for submission to the GCF since June 2019.
She shared some key lessons learned in the process, saying: “Having a long-term strategic vision as part of the Country Programme assists countries in prioritising their readiness needs more effectively over the GCF replenishment period and identifying complementary support through other international climate funds.
“Strategic partnerships are critical in this process. In order to deliver a long-term strategic vision for readiness needs to support the pipeline of projects to international climate funds like the GCF, it is critical to develop and strengthen partnerships with the right delivery partners, accredited entities and other supporting agencies for effective implementation on the ground.”
To date, the Commonwealth Finance Access Hub has mobilised a total of at least US$46.4 million in climate finance for 36 projects in seven countries, with more than US$762 million in the pipeline.
- Josephine Latu-Sanft Senior Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
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