The European Union has stated that it is considering the proposal made by Colombian President Gustavo Petro to exchange external debt for climate action. This offer was announced by Petro a few weeks ago and would signify a boost to his ambitious environmental plan, framed under the slogan “Colombia, a global powerhouse of life.”
Programmatic proposal of the Colombian government
If the agreement with Europe materializes, it would represent significant support for Colombia’s willingness to shift its climate policy, which is one of the main proposals of the current presidency, initiated just a year ago.
This is not the first time that the Petro government has presented this initiative; it has been doing so in all international forums. The dedicated commitment of Colombia to renewable energies was also discussed with the Biden administration in the United States, receiving sympathy without concrete outcomes for now.
Preparatory summit of the Amazon Forum
“I have conveyed to President Petro that the European Union is not against his proposal,” stated Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for Environment, after a bilateral meeting held in Leticia, southern Colombia.
The meeting brought together indigenous and environmental organizations, as well as ministers from eight countries in the Amazon region. It was concluded by Presidents Petro of Colombia and Lula Da Silva of Brazil and served as a preparatory event for the meeting of Amazonian countries scheduled for August 8th and 9th in the Brazilian city of Belém.
Commissioner Sinkevicius also affirmed that the EU “needs to see the document and the technical proposal to begin discussions.”
The summit served as a platform for the EU to present its Amazonia+ program, a European contribution of 20 million euros aimed at “strengthening the capacity of countries in the Amazon Basin to mitigate CO2 emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change” over the next five years.
The funds will be allocated to countries such as Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Surinam. This initiative is part of the European program “Amazon Basin,” which has a total of 35 million euros dedicated to the protection of the entire Amazon, one of the planet’s main lungs.