The commission said it would provide more than half of the $725 million for the 248 new projects included under its so-called LIFE+ program, the European Union's financial instrument for environment programs.
Projects range from public-awareness campaigns to efforts to improve the conservation status of endangered species and habitats.
"These new projects will make a big contribution to protecting, conserving and enhancing Europe's natural capital," Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said in a statement. "They will support the goal of turning the EU into a resource efficient, greener and more competitive low-carbon economy."
European leaders are debating climate policies for 2030, which would expand on goals for emission reductions and renewable energy use for 2020.
An 83-page report from the International Renewable Energy Agency, known also as IRENA, said alternative fuel sources used for road transportation could be able to keep pace with fossil fuels by 2020 with the right policies in place.
"While the road just ahead is challenging, we can now see the beginnings of widely available, competitive renewable options for transport," IRENA Director General Adnan Amin said.