Today's investment package will contribute towards improving the quality of life for European citizens in five areas: Nature, Water, Air, Waste and Climate Action. The investment covers 10 projects in Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Spain and Sweden. The EU funding will mobilise investments leading to an additional €2 billion, as Member States can make use of other EU funding sources, including agricultural, structural, regional and research funds, as well as national funds and private sector investment.
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "One euro from LIFE mobilises 20 euros from other funding sources. In addition to this remarkable leverage, LIFE Integrated Projects directly respond to concerns voiced by citizens about air and water quality and the impacts of climate change. They enable Member States to tap into resources to tackle some of the biggest environmental challenges today, such as air pollution, water scarcity, circular economy or biodiversity loss in a coordinated way. This is a perfect example of EU funds making a real difference on the ground."
Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: "These new projects will be a catalyst for regional adaptation to climate change and energy efficient housing. They demonstrate that an inclusive, integrated and climate-smart approach to funding can unlock more investment and improve the lives of citizens across the EU."
Supporting Member States towards a low-carbon and circular economy
The 10 projects have a total budget of €182.2 million, including €98.2 million of EU co-financing.
In the area of the environment, projects have a total budget of €152.7 million, including €80.2 million of EU co-financing, and plan to make use of some €886 million of complementary funding:
- Nature: 5 projects in Denmark, France, Greece, Lithuania and Sweden will help conserve Europe's nature on a wider scale. For example, by improving the implementation of management plans for nature protected areas (Greece) or by providing incentives to farmers to manage their land in a more environmentally-friendly manner. The specific project in Denmark will help farmers harvest biomass from natural areas, through the development of high-value specialty products, sold at a premium of at least 25%.
- Water: Projects in Malta and Spain address water scarcity, offering solutions for sustainable water management, such as investing in water treatment and greater reuse of water.
- Waste management: A project in France aims to improve waste management and prevention in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, contributing to the transition to a circular economy. The project's aim is to increase the amount of organic waste being collected by around 30% and significantly reduce the amount of landfilled household waste.
In the area of climate action, a budget of €29.4 million is available for 2 projects, of which €17.9 million is EU-funded. They will also access more than €1.16billion in complementary funding in support of energy efficiency and climate change adaptation policy priorities.
- Energy efficiency: A project in Belgium will help renovate more than 8500 homes improving their energy efficiency, while the project in Spain will help the Navarra region with implementing its 2030 climate change adaptation goals.
- Climate change adaptation: A project addressing climate change adaptation in the region of Navarre, Spain for example by introducing early warning systems for river floods and emergencies involving wastewater treatment.
Descriptions of all 10 new integrated 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 4500 projects across the EU and in third countries, mobilising over €9 billion and contributing over €4 billion to the protection of the environment and climate.
Since their introduction in 2014, there have been 25 Integrated Projects in 14 Member States, with a combined budget of more than €460 million. These ongoing projects are facilitating the coordinated use of more than €5 billion in complementary funding from other EU and national funds and the private sector.
For more information on LIFE