The European Union has allocated P3.76 billion in green financing as part of its commitment to support the Philippines’ sustainable economic activities.
“The EU therefore stands ready to continue its engagements with the Philippines on approaches to ensure environmentally sustainable economic activities,” said Thomas Wiersing, Chargé d’affaires of the EU Delegation to the Philippine in a speech at the webinar on ”State of Play: Green Recovery and Sustainable Reporting” organized by the EU.
According to Wiersing, the P3.76 billion fund under EU’s Access to Sustainable Energy Programme “responds to the Philippines’ goal to increase energy access, promote renewable energy sources to decrease the use of polluting power sources and reduce negative impact on the environment and health.”
The fund also supports the Philippines’s thrust in making energy efficiency and conservation a national way of life, he said.
Wiersing cited the Philippines for pursuing the implementation of an ambitious climate adaptation and mitigation pledge with EU support in line with its ratification to the Paris Agreement.
On top of the financing aspect, the top EU official of the EU Delegation to the Philippines is also collaborating with the Department of Science and Technology on the delivery of a national support project on remote sensing centered on the EU Copernicus Earth Observation program.
He said, EU has reconfirmed its commitment to a green, digital and resilient recovery and will stick to its goal to be climate neutral by 2050. “The European Green Deal provides an action plan to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy, restore biodiversity and reduce pollution,” he said.
Meanwhile, Finance Assistant Secretary Paula Alvarez, in a presentation at the same webinar, cited the EU assistance and international cooperation with EU countries for green finance or sustainable financing towards more green and resilient projects especially at this time that the effects of the pandemic has negatively limited the government’s budget.
Alvarez said that due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the impending threat of climate change, the Philippines is also one of the most disaster prone economies.
She noted that strong typhoons such as Yolanda, Sendong, Pablo cumulatively
claimed over 3,000 lives and affected 10 million people. “The economic damages caused by these typhoons and the losses, amounted to approximately P256 billion,” she said adding this amount is projected to increase in a long term basis because of climate change effects.
The Philippines is also located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. In addition, there will an estimated additional 8.3 million vulnerable Filipinos by 2022.
This means, the government has to spend more money to keep these Filipinos relocate in much safer areas.