The Commonwealth’s Climate Finance Access Hub supports small and vulnerable states to access sources of climate finance to meet their priority adaptation and mitigation needs and realise their sustainable development goals. The Hub helps countries to develop transformative projects required to access funds and support institutional capacity to deliver on climate finance.
Small and vulnerable developing countries require a significant amount of funding to address climate change especially as they are already experiencing the adverse impacts such as sea level rise, increased extreme weather and natural disasters. Some funds have already been provided by the international community through funding institutions such as the Green Environment Facility (GEF) and Adaptation Fund (AF). Unfortunately, small and developing countries find it extremely difficult to draw on these funds, due to lack of technical capacity and the complex processes and requirements involved. This is evident in the slow pace of disbursements from international institutions such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The Commonwealth is therefore helping member states to access urgently needed funding, by strengthening national capacities through placement of experts under the Commonwealth’s flagship Programme, the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH). In 2013, the Expert Group on Climate Change examined how the Commonwealth can best assist its developing country members to build resilience. Expert Group proposed the establishment of the Climate Finance Access Hub (CFAH) to provide long-term capacity development and establish a platform for Commonwealth North-South and South-South cooperation. The CFAH was then endorsed at the 2015 CHOGM in Malta and launched in 2016 with initial seed funding from the Government of Australia, the Commonwealth Secretariat and in-kind contributions from the Government of Mauritius.
In its short time of operation, the Hub has already recorded remarkable results, mobilising a total of has supported Commonwealth countries secure USD$28 million of climate finance to date and there is another USD$460 million in the pipeline. The programme has provided technical assistance to ten Commonwealth countries with plans to support an additional ten countries over the coming months.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
Unlike other programmes of support, this Commonwealth initiative places long term experts as opposed to short term consultants, known as National Climate Finance Advisers (NCFA). The unique delivery mechanism for the Hub involves the placement of long-term climate finance experts in beneficiary countries and regional organisations to build capacity for enhanced access and effective use of private and public climate finance resources. The experts work directly with various Ministries, Departments and Agencies to support national efforts to access and effectively use international climate finance, with particular focus on developing local capacity and South-South co-operation. One of the ways the Advisers do this is by helping to develop bankable climate change projects and submit them for funding.
What is the current status of your innovation?
The innovation is ongoing and producing results for the Commonwealth Countries and there is increasing demand from countries to replace the same.
Collaborations & Partnerships
The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub was established by Commonwealth Heads of Government in 2015 and thus is a direct response to needs of member states in the fight against climate change. The Hub’s main partners include the governments of Australia, UK and Mauritius. Currently CCFAH is receiving funding from the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Government of Australia, and Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Central Hub is also hosted by Mauritius.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
CCFAH’s main beneficiaries are Commonwealth member states i.e. national governments. The programme has provided technical assistance to ten Commonwealth countries with plans to support an additional ten countries over the coming months.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
In its short time of operation, the Hub has already recorded remarkable results, mobilising a total of over $28 million of climate finance to date. The programme has provided technical assistance to ten Commonwealth countries with ten more in the coming months.
CCFAH has already established itself as an eminent entity in the global space of climate finance. In this short period, the Hub has implemented its technical assistance programme and deployed National Climate Finance Advisers in ten countries in the African, Pacific and Caribbean regions, with plans to deploy additional ten advisors in the coming months.
As of November 2019, the CCFAH has assisted member states to secure USD 28.7 million with an additional USD 460 million of climate finance in the pipeline, in the form of sixty-six mitigation, adaptation and cross cutting projects. Demand from Commonwealth countries for the services of CCFAH continues to grow nationally but also regionally.
Challenges and Failures
The main challenge facing CCFAH is securing long term funding for the program to meet growing demand from member states.
Conditions for Success
For the long-term success and sustainability of the CCFAH it is vital to build on great accomplishments already achieved in order to adequately respond to the needs of the member states and meet evolving requirements arising out of international climate policy developments. Human and financial resources are therefore a critical condition for the continued success of this initiative in order to meet increasing demand.
The innovation is ongoing and producing results for the Commonwealth Countries and there is increasing demand from countries to replace the same. The business model is replicable to meet our member countries distinct and diverse climate financing needs such as institutional constraints, financing terms and geographic needs (e.g. land locked country vs small island state). Wherein, the model is highly scalable and replicable, and is particularly advantageous for small and capacity constrained states.
One of the CCFAH key lessons learned is the need to allow for more time for results to mature, as capacity building for climate finance projects is resource intensive and a long term endeavour. Thus, a funding proposal can take up to two and a half years to come to fruition. This understanding is key especially in relation to reporting results / success to donors and securing additional funding.
- Implementation - making the innovation happen
- Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways
10 November 2021