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2015 approved LIFE projects announced by European Commission

The European Commission has announced the approval of 96 environment projects and 26 climate action projects that will receive €197.35 million cofinancing from the LIFE programme, the EU’s main funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The environment projects will be implemented in 21 Member States, representing a total investment of €264.8 million. They cover actions in the field of resource efficiency, supporting the transition to a more circular and sustainable economy, but also nature and biodiversity, and environmental governance and information. The 96 projects were chosen from among 1 117 applications.

The climate action projects will be implemented in 22 Member States, with a total investment of €73.9 million. Selected from a field of 189 applications, they will support climate mitigation, adaptation, and governance and information.

Among the successful Environment projects projects are:-

 Recycling copper: Saving resources and reducing the environmental impact of copper mining are the combined goals of a Dutch project to improve the quantity of upcycled copper on the European market. It will use an innovative process to recover ‘bottom ash’ from waste-to-energy activities, with the aim of boosting copper-recovery rates from 40 % to 90 %. The project will treat 124 500 tonnes of bottom ash to produce 373.5 tonnes of copper.

 Reducing fertiliser use: This French project aims to show that an innovative seed coating made from a naturally derived polymer can reduce the need for fertiliser application and cut down water consumption in farming. The coating promotes early root growth, enabling the plant to take up additional nutrients and water at a critical stage. It will be tested on 7 000 tonnes of seeds, including corn, wheat and soy.

 Nature-friendly dams: In search of a more nature-friendly approach to dam restoration than the usual reinforced concrete, this project will install sediment- and erosion-control measures using recycled organic material at two dams in Bavaria, southern Germany. It will then test their stability and safety, ecological potential and economic efficiency.

 War on invasive wasps: A project to contain the spread of an invasive alien wasp species in Europe will develop a radar system to trace wasps flying back to their nests in two regions in Italy, so as to destroy wasp colonies and prevent further invasions. The Asian predatory wasp (Vespa velutina) is a significant threat to native bees, wasps and butterflies.

Return of the vultures: A project will relocate and release 48 vultures to prepared sites in Bulgaria, providing them with suitable habitat and food sources. Intended to restore populations of the Eurasian black vulture (Aegypius monachus) in the country, the project also aims to reduce the risks to the vultures from poisoning and getting tangled in electricity pylon wires.

 Cleaning waste water of pharma residues: A project to test a means of removing pharmaceutical compounds from waste water will take place in two water-stressed regions in Portugal: Lisbon and Algarve. It will conduct a three year trial using eco-friendly adsorbents from local vegetal wastes (carob and cork) and biopolymer coagulants, in activated sludge treatment plants to test the success and cost-efficiency of the process.

Restoring grasslands: A project in Slovenia will restore and protect two types of grassland – dry and Nardus (an important habitat for arctic-alpine plants and invertebrates) – working with landowners and other potential land users to reduce land-use fragmentation and improve grassland management.

 Tackling the criminals: A UK network of environmental prosecutors will be established to improve information sharing on waste, wildlife and chemical crimes and boost capacity and consistency among prosecutors and judges to combat transnational environmental crimes.


Among the successful Climate action projects are:-

 Low-carbon asphalt: A Spanish project will develop a new configuration for asphalt-mix manufacturing using biomass as an alternative fuel. This will demonstrate an entirely fossil-fuel-free production process and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 %. The asphalt mixes will be tested in a real-scale demonstration at a road construction site.

Restoring peatlands: A new tool to measure greenhouse gas emissions from managed peatlands in Latvia will enable decision-makers to optimise the impacts of peatland restoration on biodiversity, economic growth and climate mitigation. The project will also create an inventory and a database of degraded peatlands across the country.

 Cooler roof tiles: A new design of two widely used types of roof tile, aimed at increasing air flow to promote cooling and ventilation, will be tested in real-scale buildings in different locations in the Mediterranean. The project aims to demonstrate that the tiles can help save up to 50 % of the energy required for cooling buildings and reduce cooling related GHG emissions by 10 %.

 Organisational footprint: A new network will develop a tool to calculate and reduce the carbon footprint of organisations, with participants from both the public and private sectors in Croatia, France, Greece, Hungary and Italy. The French project aims to support the implementation of public policies to incentivise the reduction of carbon emissions.

Interested in the 2016 funding cycle, the calls for proposals will be issued as follows:-

Project type Subprogramme/
priority objective
Deadline Indicative Budget (EUR) Submission route
Traditional projects Climate (all objectives: CCA, CCM and GIC) 07-Sep-16 239,000,000 eProposal
Environment (ENV - Environment and Resource Efficiency) 12-Sep-16
Environment (NAT - Nature and Biodiversity and GIE - Environmental Governance and Information) 15-Sep-16
Preparatory Projects Environment* 20-Sep-16 1,920,000 paper to DG ENV
Technical Assistance Projects Environment 20-Sep-16 800,000 paper to DG ENV
Technical Assistance Projects Climate 20-Sep-16 160,000 paper to EASME
Integrated Projects Environment 26-Sep-16 79,200,000 paper to DG ENV
Integrated Projects Climate 26-Sep-16 16,000,000 paper to EASME
* There will be no Preparatory project call under the Climate sub-programme for 2016



Issue 48