Stockholm (NordSIP) – The European Commission approved a €98.2 million investment package last week (February 9) to support the European transition to a low-carbon, circular economy. The initiative is under the auspices of the new LIFE funding programme for the Environment and Climate Action and includes specific projects in Denmark and Sweden.
The investment package is designed to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life for European citizens in five specific areas: Nature, Water, Air, Waste and Climate Action, and covers 10 projects in total with a budget of €182.2 million spanning Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, Belgium, France, Greece, Malta, Spain and Sweden.
The projects in Denmark and Sweden are both in the ‘Nature’ category of the Life Integrated Projects. The Danish project, with a budget of €17.4 million, concerns making nature management a sound branch of farming, with the objective of making it financially attractive for farms to graze or harvest biomass from natural areas through the development of high-value specialty products sold at a premium of at least 25%. The initiative is also expected to improve the condition of protected fens, springs and grasslands, and provide a template for the widespread implementation of a more holistic approach to nature and water management.
The Swedish project, with a budget of €16.7 million, concerns the model conservation of watercourses and wetlands, which provide a range of ecosystem services, including carbon storage, improved water quality and flood control. The project will foster greater communication and cooperation between different stakeholders to improve the condition of these habitats, and make more coordinated use of available funds. The project will serve as a model for the wider implementation of Sweden’s priority actions for nature conservation.
Additionally, the funding for the 10 projects is expect to mobilise investments amounting to an additional €2 billion, as EU Member States will be in a position to make use of other EU funding sources, such as agricultural, structural, regional and research funds, alongside national funds and private sector investment.
“One euro from LIFE mobilises 20 euros from other funding sources,” said EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Valla. “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. They enable 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.”
“These new projects will be a catalyst for regional adaptation to climate change and energy efficient housing. They demonstrate that an inclusive, integrated and climate-smart approach to funding can unlock more investment and improve the lives of citizens across the EU,” added EU Commissioner for Climate Action and energy Miguel Arias Cañete.
The LIFE programme has co-financed over 4,500 projects across the EU and in third countries, moblising over €9 billion and contributing over €4 billion to environmental and climate protection. The newly announced projects supplement 25 integrated projects across 14 Member States since 2014 with a combined budget of over €460 million, which in turn have facilitated the coordinated use of over €5 billion in complementary funding from other EU and national funds and the private sector.
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