The European Parliament has officially approved the deal with member states on LIFE, the only programme at EU-level solely dedicated to the environment and climate. It will enter into force retroactively from January 1, 2021.

The 2021-2027 programme will become the EU’s “most ambitious climate and environmental programme”, according to the parliament.

Climate and environmental projects

It is expected to contribute to making the necessary shift towards a clean, circular, energy-efficient, low-carbon and climate-resilient economy; to protecting and improving the quality of the environment; and to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.

The total budget allocated for LIFE is €5.4 billion, of which €3.5 billion will go to environmental activities and €1.9 billion to climate action.

The parliament said that when making decisions on what to fund, the commission should “prioritise projects that among other issues, have a clear cross border European interest, the highest potential for replicability and for being taken up by the public or private sector, or for mobilising the largest investments”.

New level of commitment

The programme is expected to contribute to making climate actions a key aspect of all EU policies and to achieving the overall target of spending at least 30% of the EU’s budget on these objectives.

The rapporteur, Nils Torvalds of Renew Europe Group, 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 larger 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.

The LIFE programme was launched in 1992 and is the only EU programme dedicated specifically to environmental and climate action.