Source: Council of the European Union 2
Today the Council presidency today reached a provisional political agreement with Parliament on the extension of the LIFE programme beyond 2020. LIFE is the EU’s flagship programme for nature, biodiversity protection and the fight against climate change. From 2021, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects will also benefit from funding via LIFE.
I am very pleased that the Council and Parliament reached an ambitious agreement to improve the LIFE programme. The LIFE programme is one of the EU’s key funding instruments for nature, biodiversity, climate action and now clean energy projects. It will be instrumental in helping to implement the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and reach the EU climate neutrality objectives for 2050 in the four corners of Europe and I’m glad that we have succeeded to increase the programme’s budget so it can have a larger impact.
Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany
The agreement today allocates a total financial envelope of €5.432 billion for LIFE for the period 2021-2027. This increase in budget reflects the agreement found under the EU’s long term-budget (MFF) to apply an overall climate target of 30% to the total amount of expenditure from the EU’s MFF and Next Generation EU recovery instrument. The Co-legislators also agreed that the duration of the LIFE programme is aligned with the duration of the MFF.
Launched in 1992, the LIFE programme is the only EU fund entirely dedicated to environmental and climate objectives. The general objective of the proposed LIFE programme for 2021-2027 is 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. To date, LIFE has co-financed more than 4500 projects.
The European Parliament adopted its position on the regulation on 11 December 2018. The Council reached a partial general approach on 20 December 2018. Negotiations between the co-legislators started on 9 January and led to a common understanding on 12 March 2019, that excluded budget-related and horizontal issues. The agreement reached today finalised those points. The political agreement will now be submitted to COREPER for endorsement. The next step is the formal adoption by both institutions before entering into force.