Germany has unveiled a 68 million euro package of green projects designed to support poorer countries in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis. The Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) said it would use funds from its International Climate Initiative (ICI) to finance 29 short-term projects in 25 developing and emerging countries, with a particular focus on nature reserves, employment and environmental consultancy. Examples include emergency aid for biodiversity hotspots to support tourism and job creation through climate-friendly infrastructure projects.
“It is particularly important that countries in the current crisis do not have to weigh up their short-term health expenditure against climate protection and biodiversity,” said Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary for the environment. The aid will also help to future-proof developing and emerging countries against new pandemics by backing projects that help lower the risk of animal-to-human transmission in nature areas. Sixteen ICI partners will help to implement the projects.
The coronavirus pandemic is making the protection of the climate and biodiversity far more difficult, according to the BMU. Poaching and deforestation, for example, have increased as poorer countries suffer the effects of lockdowns and plummeting economies. To address this, the BMU wants to ensure climate-friendly projects are at the forefront of decision-makers’ priorities when countries re-start after the pandemic. It set up the ICI in 2008 to finance green projects in poorer countries.
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