German gov’t fund to boost ‘green growth’

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MANILA, Philippines—The German government has allocated a P170-million fund to continue its support for Philippine efforts related to “climate-smart development and green growth.”

This was announced as Asian Development Bank president Haruhiko Kuroda said economic growth by itself was not enough for Asia to succeed if this were not driven by new technology and ideas and did not lead  to the creation of more jobs and the protection of the environment.

According to the German embassy, Gudrun Kopp, who is state secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, assured fresh funds for the Philippines’ green economy during  a meeting with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr.

Among the topics discussed during the meeting was how greater efficiency in using resources will enhance competitiveness and how “green products” can open new markets.

A “green economy” as a way to advance economic and social development through sustainable use of natural resources is an emerging concept in the Philippines, the embassy said.

With help from Germany and other development partners, the Climate Change Commission has drawn up the National Climate Change Action Plan to serve as a road map in addressing the causes and effects of climate change, including its impact on the economy.

The plan prioritizes “climate-smart industries and services,” aims at creating “green” jobs, focuses on sustainable consumption and production, and supports “green growth.”

In his annual address to the ADB board of governors, Kuroda said growth alone was  not enough for the region to succeed in an era of global change.

“Now is the time to push through with greater reforms to support the region’s long-term growth,” he said, adding that successful economies will be those that will “focus on transforming themselves through growth that is inclusive, green, and knowledge-led.”

The ADB president cited steps that government are taking toward growth that create more jobs, including work for women and disadvantaged groups.

Kuroda also cited initiatives in clean and renewable energy, sustainable resource management and conservation of critical ecosystems.

“Asia is rapidly becoming a global leader in green investments, which are themselves becoming an engine of growth in the region,” he said.

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