The ongoing SUNREF Maurice project held a stakeholder engagement event on the 5th of March 2020 at the Westin Turtle Bay hotel, Balaclava. SUNREF (Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance) Maurice is a project funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) which aims to encourage the Mauritian population, mainly Mauritian companies, to invest in the area of climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as gender equality – three areas that are of ever-growing importance. This encouragement is provided mainly in the form of investment premiums up to 16% of the total amount of the loans, as well as a technical assistance.
The event, which brought together more than 250 participants, presented the project’s three main focus areas:
- climate change mitigation: renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric mobility and environmentally friendly buildings;
- climate change adaptation: water consumption, coastal management, agroecology;
- gender equality, following an action plan stemming from a self-diagnosis tool.
In addition, participants had the opportunity to discuss with the two partners banks, namely: Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd and SMB Bank (Mauritius) Ltd, with regards to the various opportunities offered by the project in the way of its €75 million credit line. The €75 million credit line is complemented by a €7 million grant from the European Union for technical assistance and additional investment grants.
When explaining the SUNREF concept, André Pouillès-Duplaix, director of AFD’s regional branch for Mauritius and the Seychelles, mentioned that, “Through direct financing to the private sector, SUNREF allows for the facilitation of the national action plan on combatting the effects of climate change, on the one hand, and the supporting of economic players on the ground, on the other hand”. André Pouillès-Duplaix further explained that the ecological transition is only possible with the involvement of local banks, who are the main funders of local companies and are well aware of the local context. The overall goal of the project is to help Mauritius boost its transition to a green economy that is more resilient to climate change, while being more inclusive.
The project, led by Business Mauritius and the AETS consortium, has an expected duration of 24 months.