S.6. Research and Innovation

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EC invests over €100 million in LIFE Programme projects

Monday, February 17, 2020


EC invests € 101,2 million in 10 large-scale projects part of the LIFE programme for environment and climate. Introduced in 2014, LIFE projects aim to help Member States comply with key EU environmental, nature and climate legislation. Nine Member States are involved in this funding (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Slovakia and Spain) that intends to contribute, through the projects, to the EU’s transition towards a sustainable economy and climate neutrality.

The aim of these projects is therefore the same: to support the European Green Deal and the EU’s ambition to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The projects support the nine Member States in complying with EU legislation in six main areas: nature, water, air, waste, climate change mitigation and adaptation. They should also actively support the implementation of environmental and climate legislation in a coordinated manner and on a large territorial scale, but also encourage funding from other EU sources, national and regional actors and private investors.

Some examples of concrete impacts within the countries concerned:

  • Nature conservation: Projects in Estonia, Ireland and Cyprus are expected to contribute to nature conservation in Europe and to improve the management of the EU network of protected areas Natura 2000.
  • Water: Integrated projects at river basin level should protect and improve the water quality of rivers and lakes in Ireland and Latvia.
  • Air quality: By reducing the population’s exposure to harmful air pollutants, LIFE funding will help Slovakia and the Czech Republic to comply with EU air quality directives.
  • Waste management: A project in Greece should encourage waste prevention and re-use by reducing the amount of municipal waste going to landfill. New waste indicators and standards will be developed to help establish the circular economy.
  • Adaptation to climate change: Projects will integrate adaptation to climate change into planning and other policy areas in Spain, as well as strengthening adaptive capacity in France using nature-based solutions.
  • Sustainable financing: A project in France will contribute to filling important knowledge gaps in this area and to the generalisation of green financial products.

The LIFE investment is expected to mobilise more than €6,5 billion of additional funding: Member States can call on other EU funding sources, including agricultural, regional and structural funds, as well as Horizon 2020, national funds and private sector investment. In addition, for the next long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, the EC proposes to increase LIFE funding by almost 60%.