European Environmental Funding

Northern Ireland Environment Link, with the support of  the Heritage Lottery Fund Catalyst Umbrella Programme, held an event on 1 May 2015 focusing on opportunities for funding environmental projects in the 2014-2020 EU funding period.  Funding streams discussed included INTERREG VA, VB and VC, the LIFE programme and Horizon 2020.


Lorraine McCourt from the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) highlighted the environmental priorities within INTERREG VA – protecting and restoring biodiversity; investment in the water sector; and low carbon sustainable transport.


Declan McGarrigle from SEUPB discussed the environmental measures within INTERREG VB and VC including those relating to a low carbon economy and environmental and resource efficiency.

INTERREG VB – Transnational Cooperation
  • Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme
  • Atlantic Area Programme
  • North West Europe Programme 

INTERREG VC (INTERREG EUROPE) – Interregional Cooperation
  • Involves all 28 Member States of EU (plus Switzerland and Norway)

LIFE programme

Seosamh Ó Laoi from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (the LIFE National Contact Point for Ireland) provided an overview of the support which the LIFE programme provides for environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects.  The LIFE programme 2014-2020 is divided into 2 sub programmes:

Sub-programme for Environment
  • Environment & Resource Efficiency (ENV)
  • Nature & Biodiversity (NAT, BIO)
  • Environmental Governance & Information (GIE)
Sub-programme for Climate Action
  • Climate Change Mitigation (CMM)
  • Climate Change Adaptation (CCA)
  • Climate Change Governance and Information (GIC)

Horizon 2020: Societal Challenge 5

Caroline Barry from the Department of Environment (a Northern Ireland Contact Point) discussed the environment measure within Horizon 2020, the European programme for research and innovation which includes Societal Challenge 5 covering the themes of climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials.  Caroline highlighted that dealing with climate change is a cross cutting priority in Horizon 2020, accounting for 35% of the overall budget across the programme.

The draft 2016/17 work programme includes priority topics focused on:
  • Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy (systemic eco-innovation and water topics).
  • Blue Growth (Arctic).
  • Climate Services.
  • Towards a low-carbon Europe.
  • Nature-Based Solutions for sustainable cities and territorial resistance.
  • Water.
  • Raw Materials.
  • Earth Observation.
  • Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Growth.

Further information

Interreg VA – presentation slides
Interreg VB & VC – presentation slides
LIFE programme – presentation slides
Horizon 2020: Societal Challenge 5 – presentation slides
Northern Ireland Environment Link

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