At a virtual meeting at the United Nations, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced a major new program of support to the Pacific Islands.
Prime Minister Trudeau said that “small countries had limited capacity to navigate the complex world of climate finance. They often lacked the dedicated technical support needed to develop projects through to their implementation stages”.
Fiji’s Prime Minister and Canadian Prime Minister had discussed this challenge during their virtual meeting two weeks ago. Through the Climate Finance Access Network (CFAN); Pacific countries will now be able seek funds to develop specialist skills and expertise to work with Governments in accessing climate finance.
Prime Minister Trudeau said that Canada has partnered with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a leading climate innovator and a grouping of like-minded actors in coming together to identify concrete solutions for action under a Climate Finance Access Network (CFAN) initiative. Canada is proud to have provided catalyst funding to address this critical challenge and is pleased to announce a contribution of $9.5M to the Climate Finance Access Network (CFAN).
This support has been designed through a highly inclusive process involving consultations with over 50 developing nations. CFAN will help empower SIDS to chart their own course in securing climate finance more quickly and effectively.
This Network will deploy highly-trained climate finance advisors dedicated to securing climate financing for priority investments in climate resilience and energy transition.
These advisors will help countries but also work as a team, making sure that what we learn in one nation in structuring critical investments can be quickly applied to others around the world. Canada’s C$9.5M (approximately FJ$15.3 million) support for this initiative will help train 30 climate finance advisors a year and deploy 12 experts to the capitals of some the most climate-vulnerable nations, notably the Pacific small-island developing states, for a one to two year assignment.
They will hit the ground running, equipped with the training, networks, and skills to be effective from day one. In welcoming the announcement, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Satyendra Prasad said that “accessing climate funds – especially from the private sector remains a steep challenge for many Pacific island states. The investment requirements of the private sector require different sets of skills in Government agencies.”
Ambassador Satyendra Prasad said that without “a strong blend of private and public sector investments, many Pacific states are unlikely to achieve their ambitious climate action targets.
This support by Canada is a crucial investment in human resource and capacity that is needed to overcome this complex challenges”. Canada’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Marc-Andre Blanchard said that Canada will “increase its support to PSIDS to overcome the constraints that they face in not only speeding up their energy transitions; but in meeting all their SDG’s. He said that “in recognition of the extreme vulnerabilities that small states face, Canada is stepping up its support to the Pacific for the long term”.