The European Commission has approved an investment package of € 243 million from the EU budget for projects under the LIFE programme supporting nature, the environment and quality of life in Europe's transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon future.
The EU funding under the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action will mobilise additional investments leading to a total of € 430.7 million going towards 142 new projects. With numerous trans-national projects funded, LIFE will have an impact in every EU Member State.
EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: "The LIFE programme continues to invest in projects that improve our quality of life, our environment and nature. It helps many talented Europeans to find solutions to some of today's greatest environmental concerns – air pollution, water scarcity, plastic waste, biodiversity and resource loss. And it continues to deliver value for money.”
EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete said: "These innovative projects show the added value of European cooperation. In developing and sharing the best ways to reduce emissions and increase resilience to climate change they support implementation of the 2030 climate and energy framework across the EU.”
Funds of € 196.2 million will go to projects in the field of environment and resource efficiency, nature and biodiversity, and environmental governance and information.
This includes major investments in projects that will enable more plastic to be reused. Turning this waste into high-quality raw materials for the car, construction and packaging industries is just one way in which LIFE gives practical support to achieving the goals of the European Commission's European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy.
LIFE remains at the forefront of efforts to increase awareness of the valuable ecosystem services that nature provides and to conserve endangered habitats and species. From reducing conflicts between people and wildlife in Greece, Italy, Romania and Spain, to promoting sustainable agricultural practices in Italy, Malta and Spain, the many LIFE nature project will help to implement the EU Action Plan for Nature.
In the area of climate action, the EU will invest € 46.8 million to support climate change mitigation, adaptation and governance and information projects. This includes practical support for Member States drafting their 2030 national climate and energy plans that will help them collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. LIFE funding will also help farming and forestry adapt to climate change and improve communities' resilience to extreme weather events, from floods and heatwaves to water shortages.
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, mobilising nearly €10 billion and contributing over €4.2 billion to the protection of the environment and climate. 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 and covers a sub-programme for environment and a sub-programme for climate action. For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing to increase funding by almost 60% for LIFE.