EU budget: Commission proposes to increase funding to support the environment and climate action

Posted: June 1, 2018 - 11:00 am

For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing to increase funding by almost 60% for ‘LIFE’, the EU programme for the environment and climate action (June 1st).eu

The ‘LIFE’ programme is among the EU funding programmes for which the Commission is proposing the largest proportional increase, with a budget of €1.95 billion between 2021 and 2027.The Commission has integrated climate action into all major EU spending programmes, in particular cohesion policy, regional development, energy, transport, research and innovation, the Common Agricultural Policy as well as the EU’s development policy, making the EU budget a driver of sustainability. To implement the Paris Agreement and the commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Commission proposes to raise the level of ambition for climate financing across all EU programmes, with at least 25% of EU expenditure contributing to climate objectives.

The main features of the new ‘LIFE’ programme are:

  • An increased focus on clean energy: One of the main aims of the new ‘LIFE’ programme is to stimulate investment and support activities focused on energy efficiency, especially in European regions lagging behind in the transition towards clean energy;
  • An increased focus on nature and biodiversity: The new ‘LIFE’ programme will support projects that promote best practices in relation to nature and biodiversity, as well as new, dedicated ‘Strategic Nature Projects’ for all Member States to help mainstream nature and biodiversity policy objectives into other policies and financing programmes, such as agriculture and rural development, ensuring a more coherent approach across sectors;
  • Continued support of the circular economy and climate change mitigation: The new programme will continue to support important EU policy objectives such as the transition to a circular economy, protecting and improving the quality of the EU’s air and water, implementing the 2030 energy and climate policy framework and meeting the Union’s commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change;
  • A simple and flexible approach: The new programme has been designed to be simpler, more flexible and to facilitate a broader geographical access. It will focus on developing and implementing innovative ways to respond to environment and climate challenges. It will also ensure sufficient flexibility to address new and critical priorities as they emerge during the programme’s duration.

Commissioner for Environment Karmenu Vella said: “The EU is a global leader for environmental protection and climate action; where we spend our money should reflect this. With more funding, we can strengthen our ‘LIFE’ programme to ensure that it can effectively contribute to protecting our environment and speeding up the transition to a clean, energy-efficient, low-carbon and climate-resilient economy – a priority of the Juncker Commission.”

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