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According to the Minister of Finance, Rs 300 billion will be needed by 2030 for adaptation and mitigation measures to climate change. Do you understand the skepticism of some people about the government's ability to raise such amounts of money?
The financial needs to implement the National Determined Contribution measures for the period 2021-2030 are estimated at USD 6.5 billion: USD 4.5 billion for adaptation and USD 2 billion for mitigation. Of these, USD 2.3 billion (35%) is committed by the government and the private sector, while the remaining USD 4.2 billion (65%) is required from external sources. The government invests more than USD 50 million per year for coastal rehabilitation and flood management.

The 2024/2025 budget provides for the creation of the Climate Sustainability Fund (CSF) with Rs 3.2 billion for climate projects. Not counting the Corporate Climate Responsibility Levy of 2% for companies with a turnover of more than Rs 50 million. Mauritius encourages the private sector through green investments and is exploring a Revolving Fund for promoting Energy Efficiency.

The country requires USD 4.2 billion from international sources, but has only mobilized USD 104 million since 2016. Challenges in accessing international climate finance include project size and cost effectiveness for donors. We seek regional cooperation with other SIDS and call on industrialized countries to honor their climate finance commitments.

The 2024-2025 budget plans to restore 26 kilometers of beaches over the next five years. Knowing that over the last five years, only five kilometers have been rehabilitated, what is your plan to meet this colossal challenge?
As you well know, the Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our economy. Unfortunately, the implementation of rehabilitation works over the past five years has also been seriously affected by the pandemic.

However, now that all this is largely behind us and economic growth is positive, I am confident that the goals set can be successfully achieved.

Plastic bottles made from plants will be exempt from the tax. To what extent will this exemption help achieve the objective set by the government to reduce the use of plastic bottles?
A study conducted by my ministry with the University of Mauritius in November 2022 on the biodegradability of polylactic acid (PLA) bottles demonstrated that (i) PLA bottles are biodegradable and compostable; (ii) they do not generate microplastic; and (iii) they are not harmful/toxic to our soil.

In this regard, in order to encourage the use of biodegradable beverage bottles such as PLA, which are plant-based, we welcome the removal of this PET excise tax of Rs 2 specifically on this type of bottles. This will encourage interested companies to ditch PET bottles and opt for more eco-friendly and affordable alternatives available.

The guarantees given surrounding the use of “large scale driftnet” and “demersal trawl” do not seem to convince. Why authorize fishing methods considered controversial, or even banned in certain countries?
The Ministry of the Blue Economy is the most appropriate organization to answer this question.

The 2024-2025 budget also plans to allow sand extraction. That said, you say that a study will have to be done beforehand. Isn’t this putting the cart before the horse?
With the impacts of climate change, including accelerating sea levels, increasing sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification, our corals are weakened. Loss of sand on beaches is mainly observed after cyclonic conditions and storms.

Currently, beach nourishment is carried out with sand from inland quarries. These have a limited amount of sand. Our economy relies heavily on the tourism industry, with our pristine sandy beaches serving as its foundation. Therefore, this budget measure aims to supplement the sand needed for beach nourishment, exploring alternative sources.

In-depth studies will be carried out regarding the identification of potential exploitation areas, assessment of marine ecological sensitivity and implementation of mitigation measures to protect the marine environment and adjacent corals during mining. sand.

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