The Climate Governance Initiative (CGI) Mauritius, aimed at mobilising boards of directors to address climate change within their organisations, was launched, this morning at Royal Green in Moka, at the joint initiative of the Mauritius Institute of Directors (MIoD) and HSBC Mauritius.
The Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun; the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director of MIoD, Mrs Sheila Ujoodha; captains of the industry as well as other eminent personalities were present.
In his address, Minister Seeruttun observed that Mauritius is at a crossroad and facing climate-related challenges such as prolonged droughts, flash floods and cyclones. Our economy could see GDP declines of up to 15% by 2050 if we stay passive to the advancing threats of climate change, he further cautioned.
Lauding the CGI, Minister Seeruttun said that it shows the unity in action against the challenges while highlighting that the results can only be positively impactful when the public and private sectors collaborate.
He affirmed that Government is an active participant in this journey and recalled that it has allocated some Rs 2.7 billion since 2021 for mitigation projects. He further pointed out that another Rs 5 billion will be invested in the upcoming months and years and another Rs 1.6 billion in the National Environment and Climate Change Fund.
Furthermore, he underscored that Government has set a target of achieving 40% renewable energy in the electricity mix by 2025, with further plans to increase this to 60% by 2030. Mauritius is also collaborating internationally with entities such as the United Nations and Agence Française de Développement to secure technical and financial support for crafting national climate strategies, he added.
He, in addition, announced that Government is committed to come up soon with a dedicated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework which will go a long way in attracting investors’ interest. ‘We are embedding ESG thinking in our policy decisions to create a more sustainable environment for investments to happen’, he said.
MIoD’s CEO and Executive Director, Mrs Sheila Ujoodha, for her part, stated that the launch of CGI Mauritius is an important step against the pressing challenge of climate change. The MIoD recognises its pivotal role in facilitating progressive dialogue between the public and private sectors to shape the success of CGI Mauritius, she underlined.
Speaking about CGI Mauritius, she emphasised that it is an advocacy forum of the MIoD dedicated to promoting effective climate governance adding that it is even more essential when considering Mauritius’s unique island challenges. CGI Mauritius, she highlighted, is indispensable in instilling the importance of accountability, proactivity and collaboration in our approach to climate action.
Intervening virtually, the CEO of HSBC Mauritius, Mr Greg Lowden said that HSBC is fully dedicated to the climate transition and greatly appreciates the support of the MIoD in establishing the Mauritius Chapter of the CGI. He reiterated HSBC’s firm belief that strong governance is vital in tackling the economic and social implications of the climate crisis.
He recalled that globally, HSBC is providing support to CGI chapters in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Egypt and announced that their regional office for the Middle East and Turkey is preparing to launch a CGI chapter in the UAE in anticipation of COP 28.
Mr Lowden commended the establishment of a robust country CGI chapter which will undoubtedly enhance Mauritius’s ESG credentials as an International Financial Centre, strategically positioned for Net Zero and Sustainability-linked investment flows between the West, Asia, and beyond.
In her virtual intervention, the Director, CGI, Ms Alexandra Bolton, rejoiced that Mauritius will be part of the CGI’s global network. ‘Working together with HSBC and the MIoD, the Chapter will support non-executive directors in Mauritius to address climate change in their businesses’, she added.
The CGI supports the growth of groups of board directors around the world to form networks, known as Chapters. It aims to mobilise boards around the world to accelerate the net zero transition, guided by the World Economic Forum’s Principles for effective climate governance. Its core purpose is to enable effective climate corporate governance and mobilise boards to act.