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Commonwealth Secretariat and University of Cambridge Collaborate on Sustainable Finance Tool

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Commonwealth Secretariat And University Of Cambridge Collaborate On Sustainable Finance Tool

The Commonwealth Secretariat, in partnership with the University of Cambridge‘s Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD), recently held a Cambridge Policy Simulation Lab (CPSL) to stress test the Common Pool Asset Structuring System (COMPASS). This innovative tool, developed under the ‘Their Future, Our Action‘ initiative, aims to assist small states in attracting sustainable finance.

COMPASS is the result of collaborative efforts between the Commonwealth and CRSD. It provides a transformative solution to overhaul financial mechanisms tailored for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which face increasing environmental and economic challenges exacerbated by climate change.

Speaking at the workshop, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, highlighted the potential of COMPASS to accelerate SIDS’ access to finance. By overcoming challenges of scale, risk, and complexity, COMPASS enables member states to work together by pooling resources, expertise, and decision-making processes. It also facilitates the development of a common language to describe shared challenges and fosters a robust pipeline of funding applications and investable projects.

The Their Future, Our Action initiative involved extensive engagement with over 500 experts, 200 national policymakers, and 5,000 citizens from various Commonwealth countries. The Cambridge workshop, attended by High Commissions for Commonwealth SIDS, featured presentations on potential pathways for securing funding for these nations.

The CRSD will distil insights from the collaborative action-research into a final report. This report will integrate three critical outputs: the development of COMPASS, the Political Economic Resilience Index (PERI), and the legal validation of a whole-of-systems approach for identifying investable opportunities to attract blended finance.

The outcomes of the simulation lab will guide future efforts in securing funding for SIDS. The results will be particularly relevant at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in October, which will be held in Samoa, the first CHOGM to be hosted by a Small Island Developing State.

Rachel Adams

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