The European Commission has agreed to provide €3.45 billion (£2.97bn) worth of funding for a programme involved in financing climate and environmental projects.
Called LIFE, the programme – launched in 1992 – is the EU’s financial instrument for climate protection projects. The increased funding will be made available from 2014 to 2020, with €2.59 billion (£2.2bn) dedicated to the environment and €864 million (£745m) specifically for climate change action projects.
Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: “I am happy to see that the new LIFE programme will triple the amount spent on climate action. From 2014 to 2020, the new LIFE foresees over 860 million Euros dedicated to climate action. This means that an ever rising share of LIFE projects is going to contribute to tackle climate change. This will help Europe in the transition towards a competitive, low-carbon economy.”
Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik added he is confident the fund will be “especially welcomed” by organisations that struggled to find the necessary investment in the past to cover their part of project budgets.
The LIFE programme will provide funding mainly through grants for projects to organisations established in the EU pursuing environment and climate action objectives in the Member States. It has financed more than 3,500 projects, contributing €2.5 billion (£2.1 billion) to environment protection.