The EC approves an investment package of more than € 290 million for 132 new environment and climate projects

The European Commission (EC) has approved an investment package of more than 290 million euros for 132 new projects of the Environment and Climate Action Program “Life”, informed the Press Office of the EC Representation in Latvia.

The EC said that this European Union (EU) funding would mobilize a total investment of € 562 million and that the projects would be implemented in almost all Member States. The new Life projects will help Europe become a climate-neutral part of the world by 2050, ensure that Europe’s biodiversity begins to recover by 2030, and contribute to the EU’s green recovery after Covid-19. This is the first set of projects selected in the new 2021-2027 programming period, with funding increased by almost 60%.

According to the EC, in this new package, the EC has earmarked around € 223 million for environment and resource efficiency, nature and biodiversity, and environmental management and information projects. In addition, it invests more than € 70 million in various climate change mitigation, adaptation and management and information projects.

Presenting examples of projects, the EC noted that a major transnational project will rehabilitate degraded peatlands in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Poland. The planned actions include restoring the carbon sink function of peatlands, which will help achieve the EU’s goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. The project will also raise groundwater levels and help conserve species and habitats that are protected under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives.

In another project, Italian chefs will promote a climate-friendly, nutritious and affordable diet that reduces food waste through awareness-raising, communication and education campaigns for consumers, workers and others. This project will contribute, inter alia, to the Field to Table Strategy, the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Waste Framework Directive.

In turn, the Bulgarian project team will protect nesting, wintering and migratory bird populations by reducing bird mortality from electricity infrastructure. It will identify the most risky medium voltage power lines and replace the overhead power lines with underground cables at the most important stages. This project contributes to the implementation of the EU Birds Directive on the ground.

The Polish project will show how renewable energy can be used to cool public buildings, and the French project will set up an innovative system to optimize the use of resources and recover resources from waste from local construction and public works. Both projects support the EU’s Wave of Renovation initiative, launched last October.

The EC stated that 39 Life nature and biodiversity projects will help implement the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, as well as the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. Their total budget is € 249 million, of which € 134 million will be covered by the EU.

In turn, € 162 million will be mobilized for 45 Life environment and resource efficiency projects, of which € 78 million will be provided by the EU. EUR 55 million will be invested in ten waste reduction projects, thus contributing to the implementation of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan. Another € 50 million will be allocated to 16 water quality projects.

Eight Life environmental management and information projects will raise awareness of environmental issues such as biodiversity loss and air pollution. They will also provide public authorities with tools to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with EU environmental law. They have a total budget of more than € 19 million, of which almost € 11 million will be covered by the EU.

Around € 66 million will be available for 17 Life climate change mitigation projects, of which around € 35 million will be provided by the EU. Examples are projects that promote climate-neutral agriculture and improve heat recovery in the iron and steel industry.

17 Life climate adaptation projects will mobilize € 52 million. Of this, almost € 29 million will come from Life. These projects include actions such as adapting forests to extreme weather events and strengthening the climate adaptation capacity of European healthcare infrastructure.

Six Life Climate Management and Information Projects will improve climate management and inform the public and stakeholders about climate change. Their total budget is € 13 million, of which more than € 7 million will be provided by the EU.

The Life program is the EU’s instrument for financing environmental and climate action. It has been in operation since 1992 and has co-financed more than 5,500 projects across the EU and outside the EU. The funding for the Life program for the period 2021 to 2027 is € 5.4 billion.

Life has four new sub-programs: Nature and Biodiversity, the circular economy and quality of life, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the transition to clean energy. EC-approved projects and four sub-programs will start receiving funding from 2022.



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