The European Commission has today approved 171 new projects to be carried out across Europe under the LIFE program for the environment and climate action, with a budget of more than €396 million. Thanks to the co-financing requirements of this program, they will leverage total investments of more than 722 million euros, an amount increased by 28.5% compared to last year. The EU will support projects from almost all countries through the following sub-programmes: nature and biodiversity; circular economy and quality of life; climate change mitigation and adaptation; and clean energy transition. These projects will add to the more than 6,000 environment and climate action projects across the EU and associated countries that have been co-funded by the LIFE program over the past 31 years.

Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginius Sinkevičius said: “This year’s LIFE projects are more ambitious than ever. As we continue to face the crises of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss, the LIFE program is tangible evidence of our commitment to move from aspiration to action and make a real difference for EU citizens through projects that will accelerate green transition, will improve our daily lives and preserve our natural ecosystems.”

Mr Boepke Hoekstra, Commissioner for Climate Action, added: “Climate and nature are interconnected. Our soils, oceans and forests are the biggest carbon sinks available to us, and healthy nature can help us maintain cool temperatures on a warming planet. Given the extreme weather conditions on the planet, increasing climate change adaptation and mitigation projects is vital. When I see what LIFE projects in the EU and participating countries have already achieved and the impact they will have in the future, I am optimistic that we have the necessary tools to bring about real change in practice.”

LIFE projects contribute to achieving many of the objectives of the European Green Deal on climate, energy and the environment, supporting biodiversity, nature restoration and the realization of the EU’s goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Nikos Andritsos