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“We can only meet climate challenges through sustained collective action”

The Bank of Mauritius hosted the Groupe des Superviseurs Bancaires Francophones (GSBF) plenary meeting on the 21st and 22nd of March 2024. The two-day conference was attended by Governors and senior officials of central banks of French-speaking countries. In his opening speech at the conference, the Governor of the Bank of Mauritius, and current Chairman of the GSBF, Harvesh Seegolam, highlighted the need for a joint effort to minimize the effects of climate change, and for all stakeholders to fully assume their responsibilities.

The theme of the two-day conference organised by the Groupe des Superviseurs Bancaires Francophones (GSBF), held on the 21st and 22nd of March, focused on ‘Banking Supervision in the Face of Climate Challenges’, a theme that concerns us all because climate change requires all stakeholders to fully assume their responsibilities.

The alarm has been sounded repeatedly. It is high time for us to reconcile with nature, which requires a radical change of paradigm to promote the greening of the planet. Otherwise, we strongly risk leaving a fragile planet to future generations. It is evident that we can only meet these challenges through sustained collective action, involving all stakeholders, including economic, political, and cultural actors, among others,” the current Chairman of the GSBF, Harvesh Seegolam, said.

He emphasized that our country is on the front lines, since we are in the tropical basin of the Indian Ocean. As such, the total financial needs to implement the objectives of the nationally determined contributions are estimated at $6.5 billion. “In this sense, we continue our multilateral commitments as evidenced by the signing, last February 26th, of a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow the Bank of Mauritius to benefit from the expertise of the French Development Agency to establish an action plan and a working method regarding the greening of our financial system,” he added.

On the same day, the Mauritian government concluded a first cooperation agreement, the Tripartite FEXTE Partnership Convention, which aims primarily to conduct hydrological studies in Rodrigues to improve the management of groundwater resources, and another agreement, the AdaptAction, Memorandum of Understanding, aimed at accelerating the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change in Mauritius.

The Chairman and Governor of the Bank of Mauritius further highlighted that Mauritius is not only affected by domestic principles related to climate change, but also by the international framework. As an example, he cited the European framework for sustainable finance, which is based on three pillars, namely the taxonomy of sustainable finance of the European Union, which is a common classification system to identify sustainable economic activities, the obligation to disclose information about sustainable finance, which aims to establish a clear reference for green bonds, and tools to develop sustainable investment solutions.

The fact that Mauritius is largely dependent on exports makes collaboration with international organizations essential to ensure the compliance of our jurisdiction with international frameworks, with the aim of facilitating green cross-border trade and investments,” he added.

For him, the choices we make, the policies we enact, and the measures we adopt will have significant repercussions. Our responsibility is to ensure the survival, prosperity, and stability of the financial sector despite the challenges, which requires innovation, collaboration, and openness to new paradigms.

International collaboration and the sharing of best practices will be essential for our collective success. That is why this meeting is a valuable opportunity for all of us to learn, strengthen our support networks, and develop joint strategies to address climate challenges,” Harvesh Seegolam concluded.

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