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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

EU, Philippines sign 60-million-euro green economy program

The EU and the Philippines signed the 60-million-euro financing agreement for the Green Economy Program at the Global Gateway Forum in Brussels.

The program, a key part of the EU’s contribution to the Team Europe Initiative on Green Economy, aims to assist the Philippines in renewing its economy.

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.

To achieve this, the EU will collaborate with the national government, local government units, and the private sector to promote green investments, bonds, and skills, focusing on greener supply chains and production processes.

Implementers of the program will include the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Expertise France, bringing their considerable expertise to the initiative.

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.

European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “The Team Europe Initiative on Green Economy is a testament to the power of cooperation in addressing today’s pressing challenges. With a significant contribution of €60 million through the Green Economy Program, we are helping to build a circular economy, promoting sustainable practices, and supporting climate change mitigation.”

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the “Philippine government is grateful for the EU’s generosity and staunch support to the country’s climate change agenda.”

“The financing support from the EU will help the country in fulfilling its Nationally Determined Contribution commitment to reduce and avoid greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2030. Through this EUR60 Million grant, the country will benefit from various measures in reducing the production of wastes and plastics, deploying renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency,” Diokno said.

The EU has long been a key supporter of the Philippines especially in the aftermath of natural disasters. The EU-Philippines Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, ratified in January 2018, lays the foundation for deeper collaboration.

Global Gateway is the EU’s overarching cooperation framework to deliver sustainable investments accompanying the Philippines’ transition to a green and digital economy. As part of this initiative, the first Copernicus program on earth observation in South-East Asia was launched in April 2023 (€10 million).

Additionally, the EU is supporting the Philippines in becoming a regional digital hub through the Digital Economy Package (€ 20 million) and a Digital Connectivity Team Europe Initiative with the aim of bringing secure and reliable connections to the country.

The EU is also examining the potential for a free trade agreement (FTA), 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. 

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier took a very important step by launching the Team Europe Initiative on Green Economy under Global Gateway (€466 million).

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