On 12 December, the European Commission proposed to allocate €3.2 billion over the 2014-2020 period to a new Programme for the Environment and Climate Action – LIFE – aiming to build on the success of the existing LIFE+ Programme but reformed to have a greater impact, simpler and more flexible procedures and a significantly increased budget.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik welcomed LIFE as crucial in designing better environmental policy. “It is available to support all those people and organisations who are working to make sure that legislation results in better outcomes for the environment in Europe,” Potočnik said and emphasised that the programme has been reformed “to deliver greater impact by mobilising support in an integrated way from other funding sources."
Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard stressed that the Commission proposed to triple the funds for climate in the new programme. “This will allow us to increase support to regional low-carbon and climate-resilience strategies and small-scale climate projects by SMEs, NGOs and local authorities,” Hedegaard said. She added that LIFE will also serve to “leverage other European and national funds for climate action”.
LIFE Programme will create a new sub-programme for Climate Action, clearly define priorities within multi-annual work programmes adopted in consultation with the member states and provide possibilities to implement programmes on a larger scale through 'Integrated projects' which mobilise other EU, national and private funds for environmental or climate objectives.