The Climate Finance Access Network (CFAN), coordinated by RMI and supported by regional and global partners, has announced the first eight countries to receive dedicated advisors for climate finance.
Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu will receive advisors specifically trained and placed to unlock critical climate finance in developing countries.
Last week’s release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) clearly sounded the alarm on the climate crisis. Climate change is hammering populations globally, and impacts such as rising temperatures, storm surges, and sea-level rise (which AR6 confirms is now locked in) have been felt acutely across the developing countries in the Global South. This is particularly true of coastal regions and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), where some of the world’s most vulnerable populations live. AR6 emphasizes what the Global South has been saying for years: Responding to this crisis is a global imperative, and there’s little time to spare.
Island nations have contributed least to rising emissions but disproportionately suffer the impacts. These nations have made it clear that scaling up financial support from the Global North must be a priority for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and beyond.
While the volume of available funding has increased, the $100 billion promised in commitments to the developing world has not been delivered, and the international climate finance system has become increasingly burdensome. Complex funder requirements and project development processes, alongside lengthy timeframes for project development and approval, create an access bottleneck that slows the impact of urgently needed — and available — financial resources.
“The issue is access,” said Mr. Ruel Yamuna, managing director of the Climate Change and Development Authority of Papua New Guinea. “Not only has the $100 billion failed to materialize, but the system for accessing it has become obstructively complex. We know what our priorities are and which projects we have to develop — we need to ensure we have the capacity to deliver the finance for them.”
CFAN is a direct response to this need. Funded with an initial contribution of CAD $9.5 million from the Government of Canada, CFAN is a global network designed to provide a prompt and practical solution to the climate finance bottleneck in SIDS, Least Developed Countries and African countries. The eight Pacific SIDS announced today mark the first that have requested and will receive highly trained, embedded climate finance advisors and ongoing technical support from the network.
“Access to climate finance will make or break COP26 and will determine the success of the Paris Agreement,” said Laetitia De Marez, director of CFAN. “There is a clear need to address this bottleneck, and CFAN aims at addressing it in a practical way that will grow and cultivate local capacity. We’re excited to initiate our first cohort in the Pacific — the first of a global network.”
The network brings together several international organizations experienced in building in-country climate finance capacity, which have provided ongoing input to the CFAN design and will participate in its implementation.
“It’s critical that any initiative taking on this challenge remains agile and responsive to country-identified challenges and opportunities,” said Lasse Ringius, director of green investment services at the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). As a CFAN implementing partner, GGGI will lead initial CFAN advisor work in the Pacific. “GGGI has experience working with the evolving needs of small island developing nations. We’re excited to work with CFAN to ensure finance advisors placed in the Pacific will be as high-impact as possible.”
CFAN aims to place 30 advisors in countries across the Pacific, Africa and the Caribbean by the end of 2022. These advisors will be placed specifically to empower countries in the Global South to enact risk-reduction measures, build capacity and unlock critical climate investments.
“Small island nations are on the front lines of climate change,” said Joanne Lemay, high commissioner of Canada to New Zealand, representing CFAN’s primary funding entity.
“Targeting capacity building in the Pacific was critical for Canada as an initial step to further accelerating global action on climate change. Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to work with other global leaders in order to tackle climate change, deliver both capital and capacity where it’s needed most, and contribute to improving the well-being of people across developing countries.”
Highly trained, well-prepared and well-connected CFAN advisors will provide countries with the technical and financial expertise and opportunities they need to build climate resilience.
"Tonga is committed to implementing the climate actions towards achieving targets for a Resilient Tonga by 2035 under its Climate Change Policy, 2016, the Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, 2018-2028, and its Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement," said Mr. Paula Ma'u, CEO for the Tonga Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications.
"Sustainable access to funds, technology transfer and development, as well as capacity building, are a critical means of support to achieve these resilient targets in Tonga. The CFAN program represents a means to achieve such high aspirations, and we are indeed grateful for this assistance."
To learn more, and for countries that wish to express interest in a CFAN advisor, please visit cfanadvisors.org.
Coordinated by RMI, the Climate Finance Access Network (CFAN) is an agile, demand-driven initiative that offers a practical and actionable solution to developing countries facing capacity constraints in accessing climate finance. The process for applying for CFAN support is straightforward, allowing trained advisors to hit the ground within 3-6 months of approval. Countries interested in applying for an advisor can visit www.cfanadvisors.org to request support.
Follow CFAN on Twitter and LinkedIn at @CFANAdvisors.
RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.
More information on RMI can be found at www.rmi.org or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst.
About Global Affairs Canada
Global Affairs Canada manages Canada’s diplomatic relations, provides consular services to Canadians, promotes the country’s international trade, and leads Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance.
Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization that supports developing country governments’ transition to a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. GGGI delivers programs in over 40 partner countries with technical support, capacity building, policy planning and implementation, and by helping to build a pipeline of bankable green investment projects. In the Pacific, GGGI delivers country programs in Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu, and supports projects in other countries through various regional platforms.
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