Posted by : Posted on : 24-May-2020

The Commonwealth Financial Access Hub could possibly assist the Solomon Islands in obtaining grants from the Green Climate Fund.

Last April, Tonga, as I wrote earlier, managed to get a grant of over SUS1.6 million from the Green Climate Fund to help the country adapt to climate change.

Late last year, in November 2019, I also wrote saying how Tonga had received another grant of $US500 k from the Green Climate Fund to improve solar electricity generation.

As is the Solomon Islands much like Tonga, sea levels are rising, storms increasing in both intensity and frequency, and land is turning into desert or flooded destroying food gardens and giving rise to food shortages.

Global warming is helping to crippling the economy and hampering progress toward the sustainable development goals in the Solomon Islands and the same is said to be happening in many other Commonwealth member countries.

As the second most at-risk country in the world from climate change, Tonga is already experiencing a range of climate change impacts from extreme rainfall events, flood, drought, severe temperature changes, sea level rise, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and more intense cyclones. Making sure that the country is able to effectively adapt to the effects of climate change is critical for Tonga’s sustainable development.

Although the international community has pledged billions to address climate change, countries find it extremely difficult to draw from financing mechanisms - such as the Green Climate Fund - for projects to help people adapt to climate change and mitigate its effect.

How then did Tonga manage to cut through the ‘red tape’ and acquire the two substantial grants from the Green Climate Fund?

 The answer is with help from the Commonwealth Financial Access Hub and with a resident National Adviser.

 Let me explain.

 “The Commonwealth’s Climate Finance Access Hub helps countries untangle the red tape around climate financing, and make successful applications to the international funds that address climate change. National advisors are deployed to long-term positions in government environmental departments and agencies, and in regional bodies like the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre in Belize. These experts are creating a pan-Commonwealth network that is managed by a hub in the Republic of Mauritius.

“The Hub builds on the Commonwealth’s ongoing efforts to address climate change that began in 1989 with the adoption of the Langkawi declaration on the environment. At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta 2015, leaders agreed to take action to limit global warming to 2 degrees. This joint decision was instrumental in securing the historic Paris accord on climate change.

“The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub ensures that Commonwealth small and other vulnerable states have improved access to climate finance by placing experts in government departments to support grant applications, capacity building and implementation.”

I believe it would be advantageous for the Solomon Islands to have more information as to how the Commonwealth’s Climate Finance Access Hub might assist the SIG in obtaining a grant from the Green Climate Fund to adapt to climate change.

Contact details are:

Emma Fisher

Senior Communications Officer

Communications Division
Commonwealth Secretariat
Tel: +44 (0)20 7747 6215

 Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub
11th Floor Sterling House
9-11 Lislet Geoffroy Street
Republic of Mauritius
Tel: (+230) 210 6208/6325/6551    
Fax: (+230) 210 6548

 Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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