New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Monday agreed to deepen their cooperation to enhance climate and environmental actions.

The memorandum of understanding was signed in Brussels at a meeting between Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UNEP, Inger Andersen, and EIB Vice President responsible for Climate Action and Environment, Emma Navarro.

The focus of the strategic cooperation will be on climate change, conservation, protection, enhancement and support of nature and natural resources, including biological diversity worldwide and circular economy.

Priority will be identification of a new pipeline of investment projects in the field of environment and climate change.

“Climate emergency is the defining issue of our time. Now we must widen the debate and increase awareness of threats to nature and biodiversity and the impact they have on our lives,” EIB Vice President Emma Navarro said in a statement.

“Annual global funding needed for safeguarding nature is estimated to be between $300 billion ansd $400 billion while the current flows remain around $50 billion. We need to work together to bridge the investment gap. We are very pleased to join forces with UNEP, the leading United Nations agency in the field of climate action and environment.

“As we face existential crises — of nature and climate — our best chance to reverse the damage humanity has done and to leave future generations a liveable future is to work together to address these global challenges,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.

The world is facing unprecedented climate and environmental challenges. The year 2020 is crucial to start delivering solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

Science, policy responses and investments need to go hand-in-hand. This strategic partnership between UNEP and EIB comes at a crucial time, when scaling up financing for these transformations is essential.

–IANS

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