The European Commission has approved an investment package of more than €280 million from the EU budget for over 120 new LIFE programme projects. This EU funding will trigger total investments of nearly €590 million to help meet these projects’ ambitious goals for environment, nature, and climate action. This amount represents a 37% rise compared to last year.
The projects will help to achieve the European Green Deal objectives by supporting the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the Circular Economy Action Plan, contributing to the green recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic and helping Europe become a climate-neutral continent by 2050, among others. Many of the new projects are cross-country projects involving several Member States.
Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal said: “The European Green Deal is our roadmap to a green, inclusive, and resilient Europe. LIFE projects epitomise these values as they bring together Member States for the protection of our environment, the restoration of nature, and support of biodiversity. I’m looking forward to the results of these new projects.”
Approximately €220 million are allocated to a wide range of projects on environment and resource efficiency, nature and biodiversity, and environmental governance and information, and over €60 million to support climate change mitigation, adaptation, and governance and information projects.
This includes major investments aimed at protecting and enhancing Europe’s biodiversity. Projects such as restoring peatlands – unique ecosystems home to many highly adapted, rare, and threatened species – will contribute to the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. Peatlands are also an important carbon sink and can boost Europe’s drive toward climate neutrality by 2050.
The LIFE projects also support reducing energy consumption in new buildings, in line with the recently launched EU Renovation Wave Strategy. Funds will go into developing a universal and affordable low-carbon solutions that could reduce energy consumption in all new buildings by up to 40%.
Funds will also go towards projects that prevent food waste and lead to improved waste management in line with the new EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan.
Financial resources are also being earmarked for numerous projects that will help energy-intensive industries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Commission’s ambitious Climate Target Plan and our climate neutrality objective.