New LIFE programme funding will unlock more than € 3.2 billion of additional support to 12 large-scale environmental and climate projects in ten Member States to support Europe's transition to a low-carbon, circular economy.
The European Commission today announced an investment of € 116.1 million for the latest integrated projects to be funded under the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action. The funding will support projects in Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia.
Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “LIFE Integrated Projects are a perfect example of EU funds making a real difference on the ground, improving the quality of life of millions of European citizens. The new investment will help Member States to tap into resources to respond to citizens’ concerns on air and water quality and halt the loss of biodiversity".
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete said: “The Commission proposed to build on the positive experience with climate mainstreaming and further strengthen climate action in the next EU long-term budget. This increase in ambition will strengthen climate action in key areas, such as agriculture and rural development and external action, and increase dedicated funding for climate action under the LIFE programme.”
Integrated Projects improve citizens' quality of life by helping Member States comply with EU legislation in five areas: nature, water, air, climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. They support plans required to implement environmental and climate legislation in a coordinated manner and on a large territorial scale.
The 12 projects selected have a total budget of € 215.5 million, including € 116.1 million of EU co-financing. The EU funding will mobilise investments leading to an additional €3.2 billion, as Member States can also make use of other EU funding sources, including agricultural, regional and structural funds, Horizon 2020, as well as national funds and private sector investment.
In the area of the environment:
In the area of climate action, the four Climate Action projects have a combined budget of € 75.9 million, including € 32.4 million from the LIFE programme. They intend to make use of a further € 778.3 million in complementary funding from EU, national and private sector funds in the following areas:
The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. It has been running since 1992 and has co-financed more than 4 600 projects across the EU and in third countries. At any given moment some 1 100 projects are in progress. The budget for 2014–2020 is set at €3.4 billion in current prices. LIFE Integrated Projects were introduced in 2014 to help Member States comply with key EU environmental, nature and climate legislation. For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing to increase funding by almost 60% for LIFE.