The Commission today approved the allocation of more than €380 million in funding for 168 new projects across Europe, including €47 million for 25 new Spanish green projects under the LIFE Environment and Climate Action Program. LIFE projects, which are central elements of the European Green Deal, can help the EU achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and meet its climate, energy and environmental targets. These projects support biodiversity, nature restoration and the circular economy, while contributing to the transition to clean energy across the continent.
This funding represents a 27% increase over last year and will mobilize a total investment of more than 562 million euros. Projects from almost all EU countries will receive EU funding under the following four subprograms: nature and biodiversity, circular economy and quality of life, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and clean energy transition.
Biodiversity, circular economy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and clean energy projects
A nature project will improve pan-urban biodiversity management in Tartu (Estonia), Aarhus (Denmark) and Riga (Latvia) to restore connectivity and improve ecosystem health. Planned actions include habitat restoration and the involvement of communities in these cities in conservation and restoration efforts.
To promote a more circular economy, a Spanish project will promote the use of hybrid and fully electric tractors in vineyards and orchards, as well as the electrification of support machinery. This will demonstrate that it is possible to reduce fuel consumption by 45 % and the use of lubricating oils by 30 %. In Italy, a project aims to promote a new circular economy business model based on the collection, sorting and recycling of used outdoor footwear to obtain secondary raw materials for the manufacture of new, high-quality shoes.
In support of climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector, a Cypriot and Greek project will develop, demonstrate and promote innovative techniques to reduce risks associated with desertification, unsustainable agricultural practices and forest fires. Meanwhile, in Latvia and Finland, a project will implement climate change mitigation measures in peatlands. Innovative tools for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions and peatland restoration, such as remote sensing and modeling, will be demonstrated.
On the clean energy transition, seven projects will create sixteen new one-stop shops that will facilitate energy renovation for thousands of homeowners in five EU countries. Three projects will help households reduce their energy bills through energy renovation in vulnerable districts and tailor-made renovation roadmaps in southern and eastern Europe. Six projects will stimulate energy communities at local and regional level to invest in the energy transition. They will also participate in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation projects such as community heating and cooling across Europe.
New projects supported by 380 million euros in EU financing
Nature and biodiversity
- Twenty-seven nature and biodiversity projects will help protect Europe’s biodiversity and support the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and the proposed Nature Recovery Act. They have a total budget of more than EUR 195 million, almost EUR 127 million of which will be provided by the EU.
- Thirty-eight environmental and resource efficiency projects will help restore the environment and develop technologies in support of the Circular Economy Action Plan. They will mobilize €144 million, of which the EU will contribute €86 million.
- Seven environmental governance projects will raise awareness of environmental issues such as biodiversity loss and air pollution. They will also provide public authorities with tools to promote, monitor and enforce EU environmental law. They have a total budget of more than EUR 10 million, almost EUR 6 million of which will come from the EU.
- In total, thirty LIFE projects worth approximately EUR 114 million will contribute to the implementation of the EU Climate Law and Adaptation Strategy by fostering the transition to a climate-neutral, energy-efficient, renewable energy-based and resilient economy. Eleven climate change mitigation projects will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable land, forest and marine management; innovative clean energy solutions; and replacement and reuse of fluorinated greenhouse gases. They will mobilize some 50 million euros, of which the EU will contribute some 30 million.
- Thirteen climate change adaptation projects will help cities and regions adapt to climate change; support climate change adaptation solutions in agriculture, forests and water management; increase the resilience of infrastructure and buildings; and support viable nature-based solutions in cities and landscapes. They will mobilize some €52 million, of which more than €30 million will be EU funding.
- Six LIFE climate governance and information projects will improve climate governance and inform the public and stakeholders about climate change. Their total budget is approximately EUR 12 million, of which the EU is contributing more than EUR 7 million.
- Sixty-seven projects will focus on improving market and regulatory conditions in the EU for the clean energy transition, especially through the promotion and use of energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy solutions. They have a total budget of more than EUR 100 million, almost EUR 96 million of which will be borne by the EU. These projects support the renewable energy and energy efficiency policies set out in the REPowerEU plan and the “Objective 55” package, as well as the general objectives of the Energy Union.
The LIFE Program is the EU’s funding instrument in the fields of environment and climate action. It has been contributing green ideas to LIFE since 1992 and has co-financed more than 5,500 projects to date. The EU and partner countries are part of the program, also in these new projects. For the period 2021-2027, the European Commission has increased funding for the LIFE program by almost 60 % to EUR 5.4 billion and includes the new Clean Energy Transition subprogram.
Source: European Commission