The rapporteur Nils Torvalds (Renew Europe, FI) said: When we look at what has been achieved by LIFE so far, it is clear that a bigger budget can help us achieve even more in the future. Although I would have preferred an even bigger budget for LIFE, I am very pleased that we have reached a new level of commitment towards nature and climate, so the programme can continue to test ideas and showcase future green solutions. LIFE can now mobilise additional funding for actions on nature, climate and energy much better.
On Thursday, Parliament’s negotiating team agreed with member states on a provisional deal on LIFE+, the only programme at EU-level solely dedicated to the environment and climate. The deal will allow the Commission to start preparing to implement the programme.
The total budget allocated for LIFE in the compromise on the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework is EUR 5.4 billion (current prices), of which EUR 3.5 billion will go to environmental activities. EUR 1.9 billion will go to climate action; 61% of the total budget must be climate-related. The programme will contribute to mainstreaming climate actions and to achieving the overall target of at least 30% of the EU budget expenditure supporting climate objectives.
The programme aims to contribute to the shift towards a clean, circular, energy-efficient, low-carbon and climate-resilient economy, including through the transition to clean energy, to protect and improve the quality of the environment and to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.
When granting funds, the Commission should prioritise projects that have a clear cross border European interest and the highest potential of being successfully replicated and taken up by the public or private sector or of mobilising the largest investments. LIFE will also promote the use of green public procurement.
Boosting biodiversity spending
LIFE will support many biodiversity projects and contribute to spending 7.5% of the annual EU budget on biodiversity objectives from 2024 and 10% in 2026 and 2027.
The Commission shall regularly monitor and report on mainstreaming of climate and biodiversity objectives, including tracking the expenditure.
The provisional deal will now have to be adopted by Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee and Plenary as well as the Council.
The LIFE programme was launched in 1992 and is the only EU programme dedicated specifically to environmental and climate action. It therefore plays a crucial role in supporting the implementation of EU legislation and policies in those areas by co-financing projects with European added value.