European Union Announces Huge Investment in Clean Energy
On Thursday, the E.U. made waves by announcing a whopping $260 million investment in green technologies and environmental concerns. That investment could grow to almost $450 million if the union decides to mobilize the funds.
The investment will benefit 20 different member-states, and encompass some 139 new projects.
Since 1992 the E.U. has funded environmental projects through their LIFE program. To date the organization has financed almost 4,000 projects across the continent, contributing some $3.66 million.
This massive new cash-influx will be given directly to LIFE, and will be used to protect wildlife, manage natural resources as well as help prepare for climate change.
The bulk of this investment will be spent on aiding member-nations to achieve the goal of a ‘circular economy’. That is the E.U.’s policy to aid both the economy and environment on the continent through recycling and re-using waste.
$215 million will go towards projects such as one from Italy to convert conventional fossil-fueled vehicles into hybrids. Another in the Netherlands is aiming to create bio-based products from wastewater.
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner of the Environment, Marine Affairs and Fisheries, said this about the new funding,
“In its 25th year, the LIFE program continues to invest in innovative projects with high added value for people, businesses and nature. I am delighted to see that the program transforms close-to-market technologies into new, green business.”
Another goal of the newest LIFE program investment is conservationism. The E.U. website lists protecting the endangered Alpine Lynx as a focus of the program.
A further $47.5 million has been allocated to fund climate change adaptation, governance and mitigation. Among the loftiest goals is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from their levels in 1990, just before the LIFE program came to be.
In total, 27 different projects aimed at climate change will receive funding under the new allocation.
The grants are being given to several key areas; ecosystem adaptation, health and wellbeing, mountain/island areas adaptation, urban adaptation/planning, vulnerability assessments, adaptation strategies, water quality, industry, greenhouse gases and land use/forestry/agriculture.
With the United States pulling out of the Paris accords, many environmentalists in Europe pushed for more green initiatives. It would seem that their leadership has responded.
The current ideation of the LIFE program is funded through 2020, although if this expenditure sets the precedence for the future, the E.U. will be leaders in environmentalism far beyond that.
Source (all info): http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-3429_en.htm