LIFE funding instrument to invest €98.2m in circular economy

Commissioner Karmenu Vella welcomed the LIFE funding instrument announcement © Aron Urb (EU2017EE)
Commissioner Karmenu Vella © Aron Urb (EU2017EE)

The European Commission has approved a €98.2 million investment from the LIFE funding instrument to support the transition to a circular economy.

The investment will be allocated to ten projects which have a total budget of €182.2m, co-financed by the EU’s funding pledge. The funding is expected to mobilise an additional €2 billion in investment from outside the LIFE funding instrument, as member states can supplement the money with agricultural, structural, regional and research funds, alongside national and private sector investment.

How is the investment being allocated?

The funds allocated by the LIFE funding instrument will be divided among ten projects in eight member states, with a majority being offered to environmental projects, and a smaller sum being offered to climate action efforts.

The funded projects include:

  • The implementation of management plans for nature protected areas in Greece;
  • Helping farmers to harvest biomass in natural areas in Denmark;
  • Solutions for sustainable water management in Malta and Spain;
  • Improving waste management and prevention in France;
  • The renovation of more than 8,500 homes in Belgium to raise energy efficiency; and
  • Addressing climate change adaptation in the Spanish region of Navarre.

A list of the projects is available at the European Commission’s website, along with details of how much investment each project has received, and how they will address circular economy needs.

How did the commission respond?

Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella welcomed the investment, and in particular the impact it could have on catalysing further investment in the environment in the member states in question.

He said: “One euro from [the LIFE funding instrument] mobilises €20 from other funding sources. In addition to this remarkable leverage, LIFE Integrated Projects directly respond to concerns voiced by citizens about air and water quality and the impacts of climate change.”

He added that the funding enables European member states “to tap into resources to tackle some of the biggest environmental challenges today, such as air pollution, water scarcity, circular economy or biodiversity loss in a coordinated way. This is a perfect example of EU funds making a real difference on the ground.”

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