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Commission proposal for a new LIFE Regulation (2014 -2020) Committee of the Regions 16 February 2012
1. Context: the Multi annual Financial Framework (June 2011) • Environment and Climate Action are integral part of all interventions and instruments. • However, mainstreaming does not address all environment and climate needs. • Thus, the need for a Specific Instrument – LIFE. • Specific budgets for Environment and for Climate Action.
1. The context: Why LIFE? LIFE is too small to address all needs but • LIFE is a catalyst: it provides a platform for the development and exchange of best practices and knowledge thereby improving, catalysing and accelerating changes; • LIFE helps creating synergies across EU Funds: increasing the effectiveness and impact of the EU intervention; • LIFE is the ideal instrument to show to regional and national authorities the benefits of investing in the environment sector and incentivising them to develop strategic frameworks for spending.
1. Context: The LIFE instrument • The only EU financial instrument specifically targeting the environment. • Since 1992, financed over 3100 projects contributing to over € 2. 7 billion to the protection of the environment. • Public authorities and development agencies are lead beneficiaries in LIFE+ (42% in 2007 -2008).
1. Context: Impact Assessment • LIFE is a successful instrument. • EU Action for Environment & Climate is necessary. But… • Better Thematic Prioritisation is needed. • Further simplification is possible. • Management can be improved.
1. Context: Stakeholder consultation & evaluations The proposal draws on an extensive analysis and broad consultation with stakeholders (2010 -2011): • 2 conferences (one on Nature and one on Environment); • Ex-post evaluation of the LIFE Programme (1996 -2006) and the Mid-term evaluation of the LIFE+ Programme (2007 -2009); • studies commissioned from external consultants; • an open online consultation on 'Your Voice in Europe'; • a consultation conducted by the Committee of the Regions; • a consultation of the LIFE+ Committee members and Member States' environmental attachés, and an ad-hoc stakeholder meeting.
1. Context: Stakeholder consultation & evaluations • Co. R consultation: • Targeting local and regional authorities. • Received a total of 40 responses, mostly from Spain (11) and Italy (10). • The most important problem is the lack of implementation and inadequate integration. • Need for LIFE to catalyse and leverage change: specific support to Integrated Projects.
2. Objectives of the LIFE Programme • LIFE should be used as a catalyst; • LIFE should promote implementation and integration of environment and climate objectives in other policies and Member State practice, including mainstreaming; • Emphasis will also be placed on better governance; • Specific link to EU priorities: resource efficiency, biodiversity loss and climate adaptation and mitigation.
3. Structure • Creation of two sub-programmes: • LIFE sub-programme for Environment • LIFE sub-programme for Climate Action
3. Structure: the sub-programme for Environment LIFE sub-programme for Environment: three priority areas: • Environment & Resource Efficiency: • Development, testing and demonstration of policy approaches, best practices and solutions to environmental problems; • Shift focus towards implementation through Integrated Projects (waste, water, air); • Includes a specific objective in relation to Resource efficiency; • Private sector oriented market-replication excluded (to be covered under Horizon 2020).
3. Structure: the sub-programme for Environment • Biodiversity: • Focused on Natura 2000 (in particular Integrated Projects to implement Prioritised Action Frameworks); • and the implementation of EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020; • Best practice and demonstration for nature and biodiversity • 50% of resources allocated to projects under the subprogramme for Environment.
3. Structure: the sub-programme for Environment • Environmental Governance & Information: • Supports information and awareness raising projects and activities and facilitates knowledge sharing; • Supports cooperation networks, and best practices for enforcement and compliance; • Promotes better governance and supports environmental NGOs.
3. Structure: the Sub-programme for Climate Action • Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014 -2020 sets out budgetary framework and main orientations for delivering Europe 2020 strategy • Climate as integral part of all main instruments and interventions à “Mainstreaming” Commission’s intention to increase the proportion of climate related expenditure to at least 20% in the next EU budget (2014 -2020) Also LIFE should contribute to that goal
3. Structure: the sub-programme for Climate Action LIFE sub-programme for Climate Action Three priority areas § Climate Change Mitigation § Climate Change Adaptation § Climate Governance and Information translated into Specific objectives
3. Structure: the sub-programme for Climate Action Priority areas and their objectives: • Climate Change Mitigation contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions • Climate Change Adaptation supports efforts leading to increased resilience to climate change Specific objectives: à implement and develop Union policy and legislation and mainstream activities across policy areas à improving and apply knowledge base in practice à develop and implement integrated strategies and action plans à Develop and demonstrate innovative technologies, systems, methods and instruments for replication, transfer or mainstreaming
3. Structure: the sub-programme for Climate Action • LIFE Climate Governance and Information contributes to raising awareness, communication, networks, cooperation platforms, raise compliance and enforcement of legislation, better governance and dissemination on climate mitigation and adaptation actions
Example: awareness raising project currently funded under LIFE+ • A Member State with a large GHG emission, large renewable energy potential, and in need of adaptation strategies • NGO raises awareness of climate impacts Among leading politicians and businesses Stimulates initiatives to support practical local climate measures Network of 220 people, training for 1400 local managers Pilot low carbon development programme Mainstreaming of climate action at local level à Increased knowledge and awareness of climate threats and of ways to protect the climate.
4. The tools to achieve the objectives: Types of Funding • Action Grants, both traditional and larger, Integrated Projects; • Operating Grants; • Other types of funding (e. g. , studies, conferences, etc. ); • Possibility to make contributions to innovative financial instruments.
4. Types of Funding: Integrated Projects • Aiming at implementation of plans, programmes or strategies required by EU environmental or climate legislation or pursuant to other acts or developed by MS authorities; • Larger scale, e. g. , regional, multiregional, national; • Primarily in the areas of nature, water, waste, air, climate mitigation and adaptation; • They are inclusive: stakeholders should be involved; • Sustainability will be important as well as mobilisation of other EU funds; • Integrated Projects shall ensure geographical balance in line with the principles of responsibility sharing and solidarity.
4. Types of Funding: Integrated Projects What do stakeholders think? • 55% of YVIE respondents supported Integrated Projects. More specifically: • 42% support the approach for Natura 2000; • 50% for other sectors such as water, marine and waste; • Only 16% of respondents were opposed • Co. R • 85% of the respondents liked the idea of Integrated Project, appreciating their high added value; • 74% consider them quite feasible and 21% very feasible; • Only 5% thought the concept not feasible; • 45% respondents indicated they will be submitting Integrated Projects proposals in the future.
4. Proposed targets for Integrated Projects • 10% River basin district brought to adequate management • 12% Regions adequately managing waste • 10% of EU population benefiting from improved air quality • 25% habitats targeted by projects improved conservation status • 25% species targeted by projects improved conservation status • 3% ecosystem services restored • 15% Natura 2000 network adequately managed.
4. Examples: IP - Nature A Region develops a Regional Programme for Natura 2000 covering all 10 sites under its jurisdiction It identifies a range of management and conservation activities. The region then identifies the financial needs for the implementation of these activities and submits a proposal for a LIFE Integrated Project. This project clearly specifies the activities or group of activities among those included in the programme that will be financed by LIFE • e. g. the restoration and connectivity activities, capacity building, awareness raising. In addition, it presents evidence on how it will use other funds (EARDF, ERDF, private) to implement the complementary measures • compensation payments, correction of power lines, infrastructure etc.
4. Examples: IP Nature Drafts Compete nt Body Programme & Financial plan Land purchase IAS Habitat restoration Competent body submits proposal for an Integrated Project under LIFE covering specific activities Education Monitorin g & awareness Management plans Species Conservati on Large infrastruct ure LIFE Proposal shows how other Funds will be used to finance complementary activities Cohesion Fund Agricultural measures Others Training farmers EARDF Scientific studies Horizon 2020 Risk manageme nt Recurrent manageme nt Tourism promoti on Decontamin ation Management bodies Institutional capacity Visitors facilities National and regional fund, private sector funds ESF ERDF Other funds are mobilised at national/ regional level to finance complementar y activities included in the plan
4. Examples: IP – Nature A real example: Combining EU Funds in Laplaand The aim of this project was to help the five largest protected areas in central Lapland so that ecotourism and recreational use can be organised on a sustainable basis. It combined LIFE (for planning), ERDF for construction of the tourism infrastructure and national funds (for construction of barns on the hay meadows) Lessons learned: the combination of funds • Provided the opportunity to make environmental objectives more ambitious without significant additional administrative costs • Provided confidence in the approach; and it will be used in the future
4. Examples: IP- Nature A real example: NATURA 2000 in Slovenia • Slovenia has developed a national Management Plan for Natura 2000. It is considering the idea of an IP, building on a previous LIFE project: • A previous LIFE project led to a transnational co-operation between different actors and different sectors • Slovenia is developing legislation to ensure that IP are feasible • Benefits: • Combining activities and different funding sources is considered to provide a real opportunity to bring together economic, social and environmental objectives leading to enhanced results. • Practicalities: • One single regulation and one set of guidelines would be required to cover administrative and reporting aspects across all funding instruments. • To ensure IP are feasible it is essential that there is a strong project design phase with rigorous and detailed preparation which agree priorities across funding instruments.
4. Examples: IP- Water A RBD Competent Authority develops a River Basin Management Plan as per WFD The CA submits a proposal for a LIFE IP. This project clearly specifies the measures/activities or group of measures/activities among those included in the RBMP (and programme of measures) that will be financed by LIFE • e. g. removal of obstacles for river connectivity to improve fish migration, development of monitoring methods, awareness raising, partnerships etc. ) In addition, it presents evidence on how it will use other available Funds (e. g. ERDF, EARDF, public, private) to implement the complementary measures included in the programme • compensations payments, infrastructure etc.
4. Examples: IP –Air PM 10 control in urban areas PM 10 a precursor of IP • Four Austrian LIFE projects are interconnected and all have PM 10 control in urban areas as a main objective. • Each project has been used as a further step in developing a more holistic approach and contributing to a long term plan. • The four projects could theoretically have been combined into a single IP which drew on several funding sources • Potential benefits • The larger project would have greater impacts; • The project would enable partners from different sectors to work together and allow a more effective; Combination of different priorities such as climate change, health and air pollution; • IP would help to achieve economic development alongside environmental protection; Greater scope for innovation • Practicalities: • The project suggested a two-step application approach
4. Example IP- Climate Mitigation: Integrated Urban plan to reduce GHG Emissions Funding Examples of individual projects funded under the Integrated Project: Regional strategy identifies needs and objectives and an action plan • Competitions on reducing carbon footprint • Facilitate introduction of low carbon accounting tools • Demonstration of innovative energy efficiency technology • Refuelling stations for electric cars • Raising awareness for energy efficiency • Develop energy efficiency action plan Cohesion Research Life action can be replicated and scaled up through EU instruments National and regional funds, private sector funds Coordination (EC) Other funds are mobilised at national/regional level to finance comple-mentary activities included in the plan EU Cofunding Develops a local or regional strategy or action plan with transregional elements. LIFE co-funding of Integrated Project Governance Local/regional management and implementation and supervision of projects Regional authority/PPP:
4. Example IP- Climate Adaptation: Sustainable Water Management in Rural Area Funding Examples of individual projects funded under the Integrated Project: Regional strategy identifies needs and objectives and an action plan • Interregional cooperation to develop and implement joint flood insurance scheme • Ecosystem services • Test new systems to reduce water pollution • Renaturalise riverbeds • Bio algae research to improve wastewater treatment • Awareness raising of farmers on climate impacts and resilient crops • Discourage use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers Cohesion CAP Research Life action can be replicated and scaled up through EU instruments National and regional funds, private sector funds Coordination (EC) Other funds are mobilised at national/regional level to finance comple-mentary activities included in the plan EU Cofunding Develops a local or regional strategy or action plan with trans-regional elements. LIFE co-funding of Integrated Project Governance Local/regional management and implementation and supervision of projects Regional authority/ PPP:
4. Types of Funding: Ensuring success of Integrated Projects • At EU level: • Ensure better link and coordination with other EU Funds - Common Strategic Framework • Simplify selection process for IP: the 2 -step approach • Simplify reporting obligations for IP • Active dissemination of examples and good practices by LIFE and in the specific working groups and committees for the sectors concerned • Technical assistance for MS facing problems to prepare an IP • For Natura 2000: LIFE+ is already financing Prioritised Action Frameworks (PAFs) that will serve as a basis for IP.
4. Types of Funding: Ensuring success of Integrated Projects • At National and Regional level: • Better mainstreaming • Provide the necessary legislative/institutional framework to allow the combination of Funds • Help to promote this proposed new approach • We need to work together to make it easier at national or regional level to mobilise various funding sources to complement LIFE IP.
5. Multi Annual Work Programmes • Shift from a pure bottom-up approach to a flexible top-down approach; • Prepared by the Commission in consultation with the MS. • These will cover e. g. , priorities, allocation of resources between interventions, and targets for the period – not exhaustive. Closer links to EU policy priorities and possibility to create critical mass in specific areas. • They set priorities for at least 2 years ensuring stability for potential applicants. • Priorities are not exhaustive: a proposal may be submitted if it falls within the priority areas included in the Regulation. • Limitation: Integrated Projects primarily in areas referred to by the Regulation.
6. Territorial Scope Possible participation of Third Countries (as per current LIFE+). Possible co-operation with International Organisations (e. g. , international studies such as TEEB). Activities outside the Union possible in exceptional cases: • Action outside the EU is indispensable to achieve EU environmental/climate objectives; or • To ensure the effectiveness of interventions carried out in the MS; and • The coordinating beneficiary is based in the EU.
7. Simplification and complementarity Lighter Procedures, improved use of IT tools and larger projects, simplified rules on eligibility of costs. LIFE+ negative complementarity, whereas LIFE (2014 -2020) proposes a positive complementarity: • Consistency with other EU priorities; • Commission and MS shall ensure coordination between the LIFE Programme and Common Strategic Framework instruments (EARDF, ESF, CF, EMFF), particularly in the context of Integrated Projects; • Take up of solutions developed under LIFE (“multiplier effect”).
7. Simplification and complementarity • Most problematic categories of cost for beneficiaries to be considered ineligible (VAT, permanent staff costs). • To compensate for the loss of these categories, there is an increase in the co-financing rate (from 50 to 70% to 80% for IPs).
8. A budget for achieving LIFE objectives • € 3. 6 billion for 2014 -2020 (only 0. 3% of EU budget): • € 2. 7 billion for the subprogramme for Environment. • € 0. 9 billion for the subprogramme for Climate Action • The budget has been calculated in a bottom-up manner as the minimum to achieve objectives and targets.
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