THE PHILIPPINES and the European Union (EU) signed on Wednesday a €60-million financing deal for the Green Economy Programme.
“This program, a key part of the EU’s contribution to the Team Europe Initiative on Green Economy, aims to assist the Philippines in transitioning towards a sustainable economy,” according to a joint release from the Philippines’ Department of Finance and the European Commission.
Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said that the financing will help the country fulfill its commitment of reducing greenhouse gases by 75% by 2030.
“Through this €60-million grant, the country will benefit from various measures in reducing the production of wastes and plastics, deploying renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency,” he said.
Mr. Diokno and European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen signed the agreement at the Global Gateway Forum in Brussels.
Under the agreement, the EU will work with the National Government, local government units and the private sector to promote green investments, bonds and skills, as well as focus on “greener” supply chains and production processes.
“This includes embracing the circular economy, reducing waste and plastic usage, ensuring water supply and wastewater treatment, promoting energy efficiency and deploying renewable energy to address the impacts of the climate crisis,” according to the statement.
The Green Economy Programme will be implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit and Expertise France.
“Spain, Finland, Germany and France have also made financial contributions to the Team Europe Initiative, further cementing the EU’s commitment to fostering a sustainable green economy in the Philippines.”
Other European Member States, including Austria, Netherlands, and Sweden, will contribute their expertise to ensure the success of this initiative,” it added.
Meanwhile, the European Commission said it is continuing to explore the possibility of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Philippines, which could “generate significant growth and job opportunities, as well as diversify and fortify supply chains.”
“The EU is also eager to collaborate on projects aimed at developing the Philippines’ local mining industry, supporting communities, and ensuring a secure global supply of critical raw materials,” it added.
In late July, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced both parties are exploring the resumption of negotiations for a bilateral FTA.
Since 2017, talks for a FTA have been stalled over issues related to intellectual property rights and data exclusivity, among others. — L.M.J.C.Jocson