Small Island Developing States, including Mauritius, grapple with climate change challenges. In 2021 at COP26, the United Kingdom pledged £40 million (MUR 2.2 billion) for the ‘Small Island Developing State Capacity and Resilience’ (SIDAR) program to enhance capacity and resilience. The UK is actively aiding Mauritius in emissions reduction and climate resilience. Additionally, Britain is contributing MUR 23 million to boost public and private sector capabilities, create jobs, and improve climate finance access via UNDP in Mauritius.
This funding will be directed towards two specific objectives:
- The UK will allocate MUR 11.9 million for a training and seed-funding initiative that will stimulate job growth in the renewable energy sector, aiding Mauritius in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. This program will empower women and young individuals to acquire skills and knowledge in the installation of solar photovoltaic systems. Apart from strengthening climate resilience, it will also enable communities to access new markets, networks, and employment opportunities.
- Additionally, the UK will provide MUR 11.4 million to support the Government of Mauritius in formulating a long-term strategy for climate financing and investments in low-carbon development projects.
H.E. Charlotte Pierre, British High Commissioner to Mauritius, said: “We are just over a month away from COP 28. Small Developing Island States (SIDS) like Mauritius suffer some of the most devastating effects of climate change. The UK Government recognises this fact and will not shy away from helping our SIDS partners respond. I am proud to say that the UK has the opportunity to work with key multilateral partners like the UNDP to support Mauritius on critical climate issues. UK funding worth MUR 23 billion will help boost capabilities at grassroots-level and access more international resources to deliver Mauritius’ ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions and climate priorities. Together, we can drive forward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda, ensuring a fair climate transition for everyone”.
Ms Amanda Serumaga, UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles Resident Representative said: “The Republic of Mauritius has aligned itself with international norms when it signed and ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 and the Paris Agreement in 2016. This project will support Mauritius to overcome the challenges resulting from the full implementation of the Paris Agreement and the enhanced transparency framework. It will strengthen the capacities of the institutions to undertake national communications and associated inventories, noting that to date, Mauritius relies on a system of temporary and ad-hoc institutional arrangements.’ She also highlighted that ‘UNDP is one of the major entities supporting countries’ access and effectively using climate finance and (…) will continue to work together with both the governmental and non-governmental organizations to enable the country to meet its obligations under the various conventions.”
Supporting the renewable energy sector in Mauritius is a shared priority for the UK and UNDP. In 2021, the British High Commission and UNDP collaborated to fund a scholarship program aimed at training professionals in renewable energy within Mauritius. The initiative was spearheaded by the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA). This program equipped ten Mauritian recipients with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to bolster Mauritius’ framework for green employment.
According to a report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the renewable energy sector provided employment to 12.7 million individuals in 2021, marking an increase of 700,000 new jobs in a single year. This growth occurred despite the persistent impacts of COVID-19 and the escalating energy challenges. Over recent decades, the United Kingdom has been a leading force in global endeavors to address the interconnected issues of climate change and biodiversity loss. In the previous November, COP27 concluded with a significant agreement to allocate “loss and damage” funding to countries particularly affected by climate-related disasters. This historic initiative received support from the UK.
Furthermore, the UK is making substantial investments to alleviate the financial obstacles faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This includes the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance, which has initiated pilot programs in six countries, including Mauritius, Fiji, and Jamaica. These programs are funded with approximately £100 million (MUR 5.5 billion) from the UK. Through this partnership, the UK will contribute up to MUR 624 million to assist Mauritius in accessing international resources to fulfill its ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution and climate priorities. These priorities include plans to phase out coal by 2030 and secure 60% of its energy from renewable sources.
At the G20 Leaders Summit, the UK’s Prime Minister announced a commitment to provide approximately £1.62 billion (MUR 89 billion) for the second replenishment of the Green Climate Fund, covering the period from 2024 to 2027. This represents an increase in the UK’s previous contribution and underscores the UK’s dedication to urgently addressing the climate crisis. The UK aims to deliver approximately £11.6 billion (MUR 638 billion) in international climate finance ahead of COP28.