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EUR 280m EU funding for environment and climate action projects

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EUR 280m EU funding for environment and climate action projects

Greek LIFE support for the Prespa Lakes

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Commission approved Monday EU funding of EUR 280 million for over 120 new environment, nature, and climate action projects, expected to trigger total investments of nearly EUR 590 million.

Representing a 37% rise from last year, the projects will support EU objectives in the areas of biodiversity and the circular economy, and will contribute to a planned 'green recovery' from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as helping Europe become a climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Many of the new projects are cross-country projects involving several Member States.

"LIFE projects [...] bring solutions to some of the most serious challenges of our time such as climate change, loss of nature and unsustainable use of resources," said Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius: "If replicated across the EU at speed and scale, they can help the EU achieve its ambitious EU Green Deal goals and contribute to building a greener and more resilient Europe for all of us, but also for generations to come."

Approximately EUR 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 EUR 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 universal and affordable low-carbon solution 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 projects to help energy-intensive industries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The numbers in brief

  • 34 LIFE nature & biodiversity projects will support the implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives as well as the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030. They have a total budget of €221 million, of which the EU will pay €133 million.
  • 47 LIFE environment and resource efficiency projects will mobilise €208 million, of which the EU will provide €76 million. These projects cover actions in five areas: air, environment and health, resource efficiency and circular economy, waste, and water.
  • 8 LIFE environmental governance and information projects of nearly €17 million with just over €9 million EU contribution will raise awareness of environmental issues among the wider public and help public authorities to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with EU environmental legislation.
  • 16 LIFE climate change mitigation projects will have a total budget of approximately €86 million, of which just under €32 million from the EU.
  • 15 LIFE climate change adaptation projects will mobilise €50 million, €26 million of which will come from EU funds.
  • 3 LIFE climate governance and information projects will improve governance and raise awareness about climate change with a total budget of €7 million of which the EU is contributing just under €4 million.

Annex: Short summaries of awarded projects from the LIFE 2019 call for proposals

LIFE programme

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