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Commission to open negotiations on Ukraine’s participation at the LIFE program for climate and environment

Commission to open negotiations on Ukraine’s participation at the LIFE program for climate and environment

The Commission is currently in negotiations with Ukraine in order to offer the country membership to the LIFE programme for climate change and environment. The LIFE program aims to promote sustainable economic development, protect the environment, and reverse the decline in biodiversity. Ukraine can join the LIFE program to receive financing to restore its environment following the Russian invasion. This includes pollution, destruction of ecosystems and other long-term effects. Today, Virginijus Sinkeviius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, communicated the decision to Ruslan Strilets, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources.

Commissioner for Environment Virginijus Sinkeviius said:

The Commission has completed all prerequisites for starting negotiations on the LIFE programme. There are no reasons to delay this process. This partnership was made more important by the Russian aggression against Ukraine and its impact upon climate and environment. We are ready to support Ukraine’s accession to the LIFE Programme.

The LIFE programme could be used to support reconstruction efforts in the short-term. This would include the need analysis and mobilisation of different actors to tackle soil or water contamination through nature-based solutions. As in other countries that participate in LIFE, projects could aim to:

  • Demonstrate eco-innovative methods and approaches.
  • Promote best practices and behavioral changes
  • Support the development, monitoring, and enforcement of legislations that are similar to those in EU. Also, plans and strategies that can be used to implement these legislations.
  • Help to catalyse large-scale deployment of highly successful solutions

The next LIFE call will open in May. Ukrainian applicants will be able to submit proposals already. Ukraine must ratify the association accord before any grant can be signed.

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Background

Ukraine is expressing concerns about nuclear and radiation safety, sustained damage to water bodies and water supply systems, as well as long-lasting damage and destruction to valuable ecosystems, biodiversity, marine sites, and other important ecosystems. The effects on human health could be very long-lasting. For decades, toxic chemicals in water, soil, and air could remain. After the destruction and pollution, reconstruction will require a lot of resources in terms energy, construction materials, and so forth.

Since 1992, the EU has used the LIFE program as its funding instrument for climate and environment action. It has co-financed over 5,500 projects within the EU and abroad and has a funding total of 5.4 million. It fills a gap between the large-scale financing programmes and EU programs for research and innovation. LIFE bridges research and policy implementation by addressing external factors that affect climate innovation and the environment. It also tests and demonstrates practical solutions. Through bilaterally negotiated associative agreements, the new LIFE Programme 2021-2027 is open to non-European nations.

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