(Source: European Commission)
A compilation of summaries of projects from the LIFE 2020 Call for proposals. Projects are listed by the country of the project leader (coordinator).
LIFE Integrated Project Environment (agricultural waste, municipal waste, waste packaging and plastic waste, waste recycling)
Steering waste away from landfill (LIFE-IP CYzero WASTE)
Cyprus has one of the EU’s highest levels of municipal waste per inhabitant. Most of it goes to landfill, with less than 20% recycled. Several factors hamper the country from meeting the EU’s Landfill Directive and Circular Economic Action Plan’s targets. These include a lack of infrastructure and collection systems for recyclable and biodegradable waste.
The Department of Environment at Cyprus’s Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment plans to tackle the issue with the LIFE-IP CYzero WASTE project. Measures will include the separate collection of biowaste in 50 rural, semirural, and urban areas, and improving the collection of dry recyclables, like paper and metal cans, by setting up 20 green kiosks. Seven cities will get reuse/repair centres and a network of reuse shops. Also, some ‘pay-as-you-throw’ systems will be demonstrated, which, together with introducing a landfill tax, should encourage the shift to a more circular economy.
LIFE Integrated Project Climate (energy efficiency/saving, renewable energies)
Improving climate resilience in the Moravian-Silesian Region (LIFE-IP COALA)
Czechia is taking steps to combat climate change through its national adaption strategy and action plan. However, more action is needed at regional and local levels. The Moravian-Silesian Region is the only Czech region with a climate change adaptation strategy. The authorities are keen to implement this strategy successfully through this Integrated Project.
The goal is to increase the region’s climate resilience, enhance inhabitants’ environment, and support sustainable development. More than 15 demonstration and pilot projects will be carried out, serving as examples of good practice for other regions and cities in Czechia and beyond. The Moravian-Silesian Region’s adaptation strategy will also be updated, and adaptation plans approved for cities with populations over 10 000. At least 20 public buildings will be upgraded, reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30%. Also, 20 municipalities will implement rainwater management and urban greening measures. Support for other projects involving training and setting up specialist advisory centres is foreseen.
LIFE Integrated Project Environment (energy efficiency, circular economy)
Transforming more waste into resources (LIFE-IP CE Beyond Waste)
Denmark’s waste management sector is fragmented and implemented through 98 local waste management plans. This reduces the potential for creating homogenous high-quality fractions of sufficient volume for the effective commercialisation of secondary raw materials. Moreover, large amounts of waste are incinerated for energy generation, rather than being recycled.
This Integrated Project aims at implementing the Danish Action Plan for Circular Economy. The project’s three main objectives are: more waste prevention, circular waste management to turn more waste into secondary resources, and a better regulatory framework for waste. The project coordinator, the administration of the Central Denmark Region, will integrate circularity principles into public procurement and demonstrate to business how the circular economy can be rolled out in practice. The team also wants to identify and overcome regulatory barriers to the circular transition and test reuse stations and new business models.
LIFE Integrated Project Climate (energy efficiency/saving, building, urban adaptation, circular economy)
Intelligent and resilient building renovations (LIFE IP BUILDEST)
The EU requires Member States to carry out comprehensive renovation programmes on existing buildings to achieve an energy-efficient building stock. Estonia requires fast rates of such renovation due to its buildings’ low construction quality and energy performance. The LIFE IP BUILDEST project, led by the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, will help achieve EU energy performance of buildings targets and implement Estonia’s so-called ‘Long Term Renovation Strategy’ for buildings. The project team will demonstrate technical solutions and pilot renovations in 25 buildings in three cities on a range of building types. These include multi-storey apartment blocks, detached houses, and historical buildings. Various tools and solutions will be created for the deep renovations of these building types, which can be replicated across Estonia.
LIFE Integrated Project Environment (marine and coastal, governance and information)
Safeguarding biodiversity in the Baltic Sea (LIFE-IP BIODIVERSEA)
The Baltic Sea off Finland’s coast is under increasing pressure from human activities. The LIFE-IP BIODIVERSEA project will improve EU policy implementation on the country’s protected marine areas. Its actions will mitigate the adverse effects of human activities on land and at sea that threaten marine and coastal biodiversity, habitats, and critical species. The project team, coordinated by Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland, will Identify human pressures most affecting the marine environment, and generate the information necessary for effective mitigation measures, to benefit the habitats and species most urgently in need of conservation actions. They will monitor biodiversity in marine protected areas, safeguard maritime archaeological heritage, limit underwater noise, reduce marine litter, and improve the management of the national network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
LIFE Integrated Project Environment (ecological coherence, urban biodiversity, natural resources and ecosystems, governance and information)
Reversing biodiversity decline in the Grand Est region (Biodiv’Est)
France’s Grand Est region has many diverse landscapes and a high level of biodiversity. However, both are being lost due to the fragmentation of ecosystems, water and air pollution, and the spread of invasive alien species.
The Biodiv’Est project will help reverse this trend by implementing programmes in nature areas and engaging with the public, land users and actors from various economic sectors. The project team, coordinated by the Regional Council of Grand Est, will enhance local governance in nature areas, raise awareness of biodiversity across civil society, improve field actions with a skilled workforce, and identify innovative solutions to protect biodiversity. Actions foreseen include setting up 10 new nature reserves and three pilot forest areas to test silviculture measures and develop grassland seed mixtures resilient to climate change. The team also plans on introducing innovative financial means to reward the provision of environmental services.
LIFE Integrated Project Environment (circular economy, waste, resource efficiency, governance and information)
More recycling for less waste and landfilling (LIFE Waste to Resources IP)
In Latvia, higher recycling rates for municipal solid waste and packaging waste must meet the 2025 targets set out under the country’s National Waste Management Plan (2021-2028). However, the current low quality of separately collected waste jeopardises its further recycling and use. Also, the separate collection of biodegradable waste must happen in all Latvian municipalities by the end of 2023.
The country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development aims to reduce waste generation through this Integrated Project. They will implement the National Waste Management Plan’s measures to reach this goal. Specifically, they plan to improve the separate collection of waste and the up-cycling and reuse of municipal waste. They also want to better recycle packaging waste and divert biodegradable waste and recyclables from landfill. Thanks to the project, almost 23 000 tonnes per year of waste – more than twice the weight of the Eiffel Tower – will avoid being sent to landfill.
LIFE Integrated Project Climate (energy efficiency/saving)
More energy efficiency. Fewer GHG emissions (LIFE IP EnerLIT)
Lithuania has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 40% by 2030. The country’s national energy and climate plan (NECP) outlines how the country intends to lower emissions and increase energy efficiency. The plan states that the industry, building and transport sectors have the greatest potential to improve energy efficiency.
The Environmental Projects Management Agency, part of Lithuania’s Ministry of Environment, will help implement the NECP via this Integrated Project. The team wants to galvanise energy efficiency measures and build national and regional capacity to reach climate objectives. This will help the country’s transport, building, and industry sectors achieve energy efficiency targets and reduce GHG emissions. Thanks to this Integrated Project, Lithuania should see more sustainable and efficient buildings, climate-friendly mobility, energy-saving industry, and green public procurement.
LIFE Integrated Project Climate (resilient communities, governance and information)
Better climate change resilience and adaptation (NL-NASCCELERATE)
Much of the Netherlands is susceptible to large-scale coastal and river flooding, while climate change is expected to affect its agricultural and horticultural production significantly. In addition, the Dutch National Climate Adaptation Strategy has identified several climate change impacts which need immediate action.
With this LIFE Integrated Project, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management aims to stimulate climate change adaptation in several areas: water management, infrastructure, agriculture, nature, health, and spatial/urban planning. The team will speed up the National Climate Adaptation Strategy implementation and help make the Netherlands climate-resilient through measures such as demonstrations, pilots, and the development of best practices. Thousands of people are expected to benefit from increasing resilience to flooding and heat stress. Various sites in the Natura 2000 network of protected areas should improve their conservation status. Also, the National Climate Adaptation Strategy will be updated by 2027 with the help of knowledge and experience gained from this project.
LIFE Integrated Project Environment (air pollutants, air quality monitoring)
Improving air quality in Silesia (LIFE-IP AQP-SILESIAN-SKY)
Silesia is Poland’s most industrialised region and has one of the worst air qualities in the country and Europe. Though industry is a significant source of air pollution, the largest contributor to emissions is the domestic and municipal sectors. This Integrated Project will oversee the efficient and effective implementation of the Air Quality Plan (AQP) adopted by the Silesian Regional Assembly in 2020. The project team, coordinated by the Silesian Voivodeship, will implement measures to improve overall air quality by replacing small-scale solid-fuel domestic heating devices with less polluting alternatives. They will also enhance institutional capacity, demonstrate tools and actions that can reinforce the implementation of the AQP, and establish a regional advisory support system and information platform to raise awareness of solutions to improve air quality.
LIFE Integrated Project Environment (circular economy, waste, resource efficiency, governance and information)
Enhancing Slovenia’s circular economy (LIFE IP RESTART)
Several obstacles to achieving EU waste recycling targets in Slovenia have been identified, including a lack of coherent legislation, insufficient capacity for recycling, and a low social acceptance of the recycling processes and resulting products.
LIFE IP RESTART will help overcome these obstacles. The project team, led by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, will deploy a set of complementary technical, digital, environmental and circular solutions to achieve maximum material self-sufficiency and increased circularity in the waste-to-resource sector. They will demonstrate six circular solutions for problematic and voluminous waste streams and ensure a broad uptake of solutions to achieve a coherent and integrated implementation of national waste management and prevention objectives. By 2030, the project’s approach is expected to reduce waste by 60% through recycling and achieve a 50% recycling rate of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste. The team also wants to reach a 70% recycling rate for municipal waste and cut CO2 emissions by 20% due to improved waste collection, treatment and disposal activities, and materials recovery.