European Union to invest in ASEAN green-infrastructure fund

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THE European Union (EU) is planning to invest in a program to develop green infrastructure in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), known as the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF), committing 50 million euros, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.

The ADB said in a statement that the EU will make the investment from its Asia Investment Facility while first ACGF-backed project will likely be approved later this year.

ACGF is part of the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund and is owned by ASEAN’s 10 member states and the ADB.

The Manila-based multilateral lender said Southeast Asia continues to face a funding gap of over $100 billion annually to meet their infrastructure needs.

“Our joint support through the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility will help ASEAN member states fight climate change; improve air, soil, and water quality; and improve environmental protection,” Anouj Mehta, ACGF Unit Head at ADB’s Southeast Asia Regional Department, was quoted as saying.

“This commitment reflects the European Union and ADB’s deepening collaboration to help Southeast Asian countries achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” ADB’s Representative to Europe Robert Schoellhammer said.

The facility, launched in April, provides technical assistance and easier access to sovereign loans for ASEAN governments to fund their green infrastructure projects, especially those dealing with renewable energy and energy efficiency, sustainable urban transport, water supply and sanitation and climate-resilient agriculture. — Beatrice M. Laforga