EU earmarks €380 million for environmental and climate projects

The European Commission has released 380 million euros to co-finance 168 projects (across the Union) that benefit the environment and climate. Some Belgian projects have been included in the selection, such as a research project into developing methods to better detect the presence of PFAS in soil and groundwater.

The grants are part of the LIFE programme. The aim is to support biodiversity in the European Union, encourage nature restoration, boost the circular economy and help the EU achieve its climate, energy and environment goals.

At €380 million, the Commission is raising the European contribution by 27 per cent compared to last year. The selected projects represent an investment cost of €562 million altogether.

"The triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution must be addressed in its entirety."

Several Belgian projects were selected, which may or may not include partners from other EU countries. For instance, the Ghent-based environmental consultancy group ABO is coordinating a project to develop better - "sustainable" - methods for dealing with PFAS-contaminated soils and groundwater. In turn, Brussels-based Permafungi wants to optimise the collection of municipal waste.

"The triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution must be addressed in its entirety. At the COP15 biodiversity summit next month, all countries will have to reach an ambitious agreement to stop and reverse the destruction of our natural environment," said European Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius. "Europe has already started that work. LIFE projects provide solutions on the ground for the policies we make."

The LIFE programme has existed since 1992 and has co-financed more than 5.500 projects since.



European Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius © PHOTO FREDERICK FLORIN / POOL / AFP

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