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EU to invest 281.4 million euros in environment projects

Staff writer |
The European Commission has approved funding for 248 new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the EU environment fund. The projects cover nature conservation, climate change, and environmental policy across all Member States.

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Overall, they represent a total investment of some EUR 556.4 million, of which the EU will provide EUR 281.4 million.

"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," said Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

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.


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