As Ireland and Portugal have obvious synergies when it comes to their historical relationships with the oceans and seas, The Ireland Portugal Business Network (IPBN) held a Blue Economy Conference on World Maritime Day (Thursday, September 30) at the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCIP) in Lisbon to a room full of current members and blue economy enthusiasts while live-streaming the event on their youtube channel to a worldwide audience. This conference extended the network’s annual Sustainability Conference event to cover the Maritime Agenda in both countries, by welcoming some of the most innovative local teams to the podium, represented by their brightest minds, to highlight issues in the sector and to create further synergies between the experts.
Cláudia Coelho represented Knowledge Partner to the IPBN, PWC Portugal with initial comments, bringing to light the firm’s 10-year studies over the blue economy area as an area of untapped potential, and their focus on developing a sustainable blue economy approach as it relates to the Green Deal.
According to Coelho, Portugal’s coast alone (including Madeira and the Açores) contains 48% of all marine waters, therefore, as part of the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), there is €252 million that the country will invest in the blue economy while the European Investment Fund (EIF) will increase their investments in the sector with a New BlueInvest Fund and others in excess of €345 million.
To further the blue agenda, financial institutions like PWC understand that a purely financially-oriented strategy is no longer enough and have made serious investments in time, money, and research supporting projects that can help to create a blue sustainable economy. Coelho further explained that 33 banks with more than $13 billion in assets have also signed the UN Collective Commitment to Climate Action, committing to align their portfolios to reflect and finance the low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.
For more information on the specifics of Coelho's presentation, you can download it in its entirety here, as there is a wealth of information better organized for viewing item by item. The IPBN would like to thank PWC again for being the Knowledge Partner of the Blue Economy Conference and for sharing their insights with us to move us forward into a blue future.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reset our economies in a way that delivers sustainable, good quality jobs, more resilient societies, and greater equity, while also tackling head-on the climate change and biodiversity loss emergencies.