The European Commission has announced an investment of over €110 million into LIFE programme integrated projects for environmental and climate protection, selected after a call for proposals covering the year 2020. The funding will support new major environmental and climate projects in 11 EU countries – Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia. The projects contribute to a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and support the European Green Deal’s objectives of making the EU climate neutral and zero-pollution by 2050. They are examples of actions to deliver key European Green Deal objectives under the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.
Executive Vice-President responsible for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said:
“We have no time to waste when it comes to the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises. The LIFE programme provides direct support to projects across the EU and enables entire countries and regions to protect and restore nature. Nature is our biggest ally and we need to take care of it so it can take care of us. My congratulations to each of the projects selected today.”
Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius added:
“LIFE Programme integrated projects is one of the main tools to make the green transition a reality by delivering targeted changes on the ground. Through these projects, Member States can green their economies, bring back nature and biodiversity, and improve their resilience. I am looking forward to seeing the benefits that this investment will bring in the 11 countries and beyond their borders.”
Integrated projects allow Member States to pool additional EU funding sources, including agricultural, structural, regional and research funds, as well as national funding and private sector investment. Altogether, the 11 projects are expected to attract more than €10 billion of complementary funds, significantly multiplying the resources allocated today to make a real difference on the ground.
Meanwhile, a project in France will introduce measures to halt and reverse biodiversity decline in the Grand Est region by, for instance, setting up three pilot forest areas. Another project will mitigate the adverse effects of human activities that threaten Finland’s marine and coastal biodiversity, by monitoring and improving the management of the national network of Marine Protected Areas. These projects will help deliver the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.