Funding will be drawn from the European Union’s financial instrument for the environment, called LIFE+ programme, which has a total budget of €2.143bn for the period 2007-2013. The Commission launches one call for LIFE+ project proposals per year.

Combined, the projects will receive a total investment of €556.4m, of which the EU will provide €281.4m.

The projects cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, climate change, environmental policy and information and communication on environmental issues across all Member States.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “These new projects will make a big contribution to protecting, conserving and enhancing Europe’s natural capital. They will support the goal of turning the EU into a resource efficient, greener and more competitive low-carbon economy.”

The Commission received 1,159 applications in response to its latest call for proposals, which closed in September 2012.

Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said: “I am happy to see confirmed this year that an ever rising share of LIFE projects is going to contribute to climate action. And we want to improve this even more: The new LIFE programme from 2014 to 2020 will foresee over 850 million Euros dedicated to climate action. This will roughly triple the amount which is spent on climate action.”

The €281.4m funding will be split across the three areas, with nature and biodiversity projects receiving €139.3m, environment policy and governance projects being offered €136.8m and information and communication projects receiving the remaining €5.2m.

Leigh Stringer

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