European Commission invests € 160.6 million in 96 new environment projects
OREANDA-NEWS. November 24, 2015. The Commission has approved an investment package of €264.8 million to support Europe's environment, nature and green growth. The investment covers 96 new projects spanning to 21 Member States, funded under the LIFE programme for the Environment. The projects cover actions in the field of environment and resource efficiency, supporting the transition to a more circular and sustainable economy, nature and biodiversity, and environmental governance and information. EU will co-finance the projects by providing € 160.6 million.
EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: "Money invested in environment projects is money well spent. I am delighted to see that our LIFE programme will support many innovative projects, and I am sure they will make a vital contribution. As well as protecting and enhancing natural capital, there are many promising avenues here that will help steer Europe towards a low-carbon, resource efficient and sustainable future. We will follow these projects carefully, with a view to sharing and replicating their success."
The Commission received 1 117 applications in response to a call for proposals that closed in June 2014. Of these, 96 were selected for co-funding through the programme's three components.
The 51 LIFE Environment & Resource Efficiency projects will mobilise € 103.3 million, of which the EU will provide € 56.2 million. These projects cover actions in five thematic areas: air, environment and health, resource efficiency, waste and water. Out of these close to half the funds will be dedicated to 14 resource efficiency projects that will facilitate Europe's transition to a more circular economy.
The 39 LIFE Nature & Biodiversity projects improve the conservation status of endangered species and habitats and contribute to the EU's goal of halting biodiversity loss. They have a total budget of € 153.9 million, to which the EU will contribute € 100 million.
The 6 LIFE Governance and Information projects aim to raise the awareness of environmental issues. They have a total budget of € 7.5 million, to which the EU will contribute nearly € 4.5 million.
Descriptions of all 96 projects can be found in the annex to this press release.
The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. It has been running since 1992 and has co-financed more than 4 000 projects across the EU and in third countries, mobilising € 7.8 billion and contributing € 3.4 billion to the protection of the environment and climate. At any given moment some 1100 projects are ongoing. The budget for the LIFE Programme for 2014–2020 is set at € 3.4 billion in current prices, and has a sub-programme for environment and a sub-programme for climate action.