Brussels, 3 July 2013
Environment and Climate: Commission invests EUR 281.4 million in new environment and climate projects
The European Commission has approved funding for 248 new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the European Union's environment fund. The projects cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, climate change, environmental policy and information and communication on environmental issues across all Member States. Overall, they represent a total investment of some EUR 556.4 million, of which the EU will provide EUR 281.4 million.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “The LIFE+ programme continues to provide vital funding for innovative projects. These new projects will make a big contribution to protecting, conserving and enhancing Europe’s natural capital. They will support the goal of turning the EU into a resource efficient, greener and more competitive low-carbon economy.”
Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said: "I am happy to see confirmed this year that an ever rising share of LIFE projects is going to contribute to climate action. And we want to improve this even more: The new LIFE programme from 2014 to 2020 will foresee over 850 million Euros dedicated to climate action. This will roughly triple the amount which is spent on climate action."
The Commission received 1 159 applications in response to its latest call for proposals, which closed in September 2012.
LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity projects improve the conservation status of endangered species and habitats. Of the 258 proposals received, the Commission selected 92 projects for funding from partnerships of conservation bodies, government authorities and other parties. Led by project beneficiaries in 24 Member States, they represent a total investment of EUR 247.4 million, of which the EU will provide some EUR 139.3 million. The majority (82) are Nature projects, contributing to the implementation of the Birds and/or Habitats Directives and the Natura 2000 network. The other 10 are pilot schemes that tackle wider biodiversity issues (the LIFE+ "biodiversity projects").
LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance projects are pilot projects that contribute to the development of innovative policy ideas, technologies, methods and instruments. Of the 743 proposals received, the Commission selected 146 projects for funding from a wide range of public and private sector organisations. The successful projects, led by project beneficiaries in 18 Member States, represent a total investment of EUR 298.5 million, of which the EU will provide some EUR 136.8 million.
Under this component, the Commission will contribute more than EUR 34.6 million to 29 projects directly tackling climate change, with a total budget of EUR 81.1 million. In addition, many other projects focusing on other issues will also have an indirect impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
Other important areas of focus include water, waste and natural resources, chemicals, the urban environment, soil and air quality.
LIFE+ Information and Communication projects disseminate information and raise the profile of environmental issues. Of the 158 proposals received, the Commission selected 10 projects from a range of public and private sector nature and/or environment organisations. The projects are based in nine Member States and represent a total investment of EUR 10.5 million, of which the EU will provide some EUR 5.2 million.
Four of the 10 projects are concerned with raising awareness about nature and biodiversity matters, whereas six are focused on other environmental matters such as climate change, resource efficiency and coastal pollution prevention.
An informal agreement was reached in Brussels on 27 June 2013 on the next funding period for the LIFE programme (2014-2020). Changes include a specific section devoted to climate mitigation and adaptation, and a new funding category for "Integrated Projects". This should boost the implementation of environmental legislation, making it possible to scale up projects by mobilising additional financing from EU, national and private funds. Formal consent from Parliament and Council are now needed for the agreement to pass into law.
LIFE+ is the European Union’s financial instrument for the environment and has a total budget of EUR 2 143 billion for the period 2007-2013. The Commission launches one call for LIFE+ project proposals per year.
See a summary of all the new projects funded under LIFE+, broken down by country: MEMO/13/638 (+ annex with the projects for UK and Ireland)
For information on LIFE+ and for details on ‘20 years of LIFE’, see:
It is also possible to contact the relevant national authorities:
The 2012 LIFE+ projects
in United Kingdom and Ireland
United Kingdom 9 projects (22.6 million)
LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance (6 projects – 15.6 million)
LIFE REBus (The Waste and Resources Action Programme): The project will demonstrate how businesses and their supply chains can implement Resource Efficient Business Model (REBMs). It will focus on four key markets: electrical and electronic products, clothing, furniture and construction products. These markets are worth more than € 350 billion/year across the EU. The project will deliver 10 REBM pilots with major organisations and 20 with SMEs, with the aim of achieving 15 % resource savings in the project lifetime in comparison with the business-as-usual approach. Contact: email@example.com
LIFENaturEtrade (The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford): The project will demonstrate a novel approach to enable EU landowners to quickly assess the ecological potential of land in terms of the ecosystem services that it provides, and then trade these services. This will be achieved through the development of an automated web-based tool that can assess uploaded information on a land parcel to determine its ecological potential, and the establishment of a web-based trading platform NaturEtrade (an 'e-Bay for ecosystem services'). Contact: Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org
LIFE CoaLESCe (Environment Agency of England & Wales): The project seeks to deliver a replicable model for the process of stakeholder engagement, knowledge transfer and exchange at national and local levels across Europe. It will demonstrate an innovative model that will stimulate local adaptive capacity within the context of a holistic national adaptation programme that targets SMEs as well as municipalities. In addition to delivering a “hub and-spoke” knowledge exchange network, the project will feature sector-specific pilots that engage local stakeholders on priority themes. Relevant to Climate Change. Contact: email@example.com
LIFE Housing Landscapes (Groundwork London): The overarching aim of this project is to contribute to the climate-proofing of vulnerable urban environments by retrofitting green and blue infrastructure in European social housing landscapes and developing the adaptive capacity and resilience of local institutional and individual stakeholders. Relevant to Climate Change.
LIFE+ CEMs (Ellen MacArthur Foundation): The goal of the project is to demonstrate that the concept of a ‘circular economy’ offers a practical alternative to the linear approach. It will do this by trialling a Company level and Product Level Circularity Metric for measuring the performance of enterprises and product in the context of the circular economy. The approach is similar to the calculation of a product’s carbon footprint or energy performance. The project will also develop and test an online tool for calculating the product level circulatory metric. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
LIFE ObservaTREE (Forestry Commission Research Agency): The main objective of this LIFE project is to develop a ‘best in Europe’ demonstrator of a Tree Health Early Warning System that will implement the new EU Plant Health Regime by identifying tree health problems earlier for all UK trees. The project will also engage citizens, volunteers and civic societies in the reporting of tree health incidents, so they can play a greater role in woodland bio-security. Contact: Alison.email@example.com
LIFE+ Nature (2 projects - 6.6 million)
LIFE Little Terns (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds): The overall aim of the project is to lay the foundations for the long-term recovery of the little tern (Sterna albifrons) in the UK by securing robust breeding populations at key sites throughout the country. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
LIFE Connect Carpathians (Fauna & Flora International): This UK-led project will benefit large carnivore populations in Romania within a landscape corridor, the Apuseni Link. This corridor is critically important for the conservation of the brown bear and wolf in the Western and Southern Carpathians. Actions will focus on increasing functional connectivity by securing and restoring critical habitat and landscape features as corridors through connectivity ‘pinch points’ and on the promotion of sympathetic land management in the wider area. Contact: email@example.com
LIFE+ Biodiversity (1 project – 0.5 million)
LIFE DEEL (Scottish Power Generation Ltd): The main objective of this project is to establish a European eel population in the Dee catchment area upstream of Tongland Dam in Scotland. Actions will include the construction of eel passes and drafting of a management plan. Contact: Graeme.firstname.lastname@example.org
Ireland 1 project (2.6 million)
LIFE+ Nature (1 project – 2.6 million)
LIFE Aran (Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DAHG) - Department of Arts): This project is taking place in three Natura 2000 sites (Inishmaan, Inishmor and Inisheer) which make up the Aran Islands. The project aims to improve the conservation status of three habitats: limestone pavement, orchid-rich calcareous grasslands and machair. It will demonstrate best management techniques to maintain and bring sites to a “favourable” conservation status by addressing the threats of land abandonment, undergrazing, intensification, loss of traditional management systems and associated loss of knowledge. Contact: email@example.com