The European Commission has approved funding for 248 new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the European Union's environment fund. The projects cover actions in the fields of climate change, nature conservation, environmental policy, and information and communication on environmental issues across all Member States. Overall, they represent a total investment of some €556.4 million, of which the EU will provide €281.4 million.
The Commission will contribute more than €34.6 million to 29 projects directly tackling climate change, with a total budget of €81.1 million. In addition, many other projects focusing on other issues will also have an indirect impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
Other important areas of focus include water, waste and natural resources, chemicals, the urban environment, soil and air quality, and information and communication.
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "I am happy to see confirmed this year that an ever rising share of LIFE projects is going to contribute to climate action. And we want to improve this even more: The new LIFE programme from 2014 to 2020 will foresee over 850 million Euros dedicated to climate action. This will roughly triple the amount which is spent on climate action."
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “The LIFE+ programme continues to provide vital funding for innovative projects. These new projects will make a big contribution to protecting, conserving and enhancing Europe’s natural capital. They will support the goal of turning the EU into a resource efficient, greener and more competitive low-carbon economy.”