Major budget boost for EU’s LIFE programme


On 25 October, the European Commission approved a major funding package for the LIFE programme, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The EUR 243-million budget is part of a total investment of EUR 430.7 million to support 142 projects selected in 2018.

The LIFE programme funds projects supporting nature, the environment and quality of life in the EU’s transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon future. Among its priorities, funding will be allocated to help manufacturers reuse plastics in the automotive, construction and packaging industries as part of the LIFE programme’s support for the European Commission’s European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy.

The LIFE programme continues to invest in projects that improve our quality of life, our environment and nature.

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Other objectives include support towards implementing the EU Action Plan for Nature by reducing conflicts between people and wildlife in Greece, Italy, Romania and Spain, and promoting sustainable agricultural practices in Italy, Malta and Spain.

LIFE funding will also help farmers adapt to climate change and improve community resilience to floods, heatwaves, water shortages and other extreme weather events.

‘The LIFE programme continues to invest in projects that improve our quality of life, our environment and nature,’ Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said. ‘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.’

Targeted support

The biggest investment of EUR 196.2 million will be invested in the fields of environment and resource efficiency, nature and biodiversity, and environmental governance and information. An additional EUR 46.8 million will support climate change mitigation, adaptation, and governance and information projects.

This funding also includes support for Member States drafting their 2030 national climate and energy plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 % compared to 1990 levels.

The themes supported by LIFE cover 55 environment and resource-efficiency projects; 40 nature and biodiversity projects; 15 environmental governance and information projects; 11 climate change mitigation projects; 17 climate change adaption projects; and 4 climate governance and information projects.

Launched in 1992, the LIFE programme has co-financed more than 4 600 projects in the EU and third countries, contributing more than EUR 4.2 billion to protecting the environment and climate. In the current 2014-2020 funding cycle, LIFE will invest EUR 3.4 billion, with some 1 100 projects ongoing at any time. In the 2021-2027 cycle, the European Commission is proposing to boost funding for LIFE by almost 60 %.

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Funding and LIFE