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Call: Climate Change Mitigation

Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"LIFE - sub-programme “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation”"

The specific objectives of the sub-programme “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation” are:

  • to develop, demonstrate and promote innovative techniques, methods and approaches for reaching the objectives of Union legislation and policy on climate action and to contribute to the knowledge base and to the application of best practices;
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of relevant Union legislation and policy on climate action, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society;
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful technical and policy-related solutions for implementing relevant Union legislation and policy on climate action by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

The LIFE Programme will contribute to the transformation of the Union into a climate-neutral and resilient society, by supporting the implementation of the EU's climate policy as part of the European Green Deal and preparing the EU for the climate challenges in the coming years and decades.

Its areas of intervention will be the following:

  • Climate Change Mitigation
    • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, including fluorinated greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances, in line with the EU’s climate neutrality target and the improvement of energy efficiency, including addressing the policy and market framework for the development and deployment of low-carbon or energy efficient products and services, as well as by promoting the transition of the transport sector.
    • Enhancing the functioning of the Emissions Trading System.
    • Support to sustainable land, forest, soil, sea and ocean management practices, which reduce emissions or remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
    • Develop and promote solutions to remove/sequester CO2 from the atmosphere. Carbon capture and carbon removals can be nature-based and coupled with restoration projects or rely on storage in specific long–term media or use of long-lasting products.
  • Climate Change Adaptation
    • Support adaptation related policy development, and improve adaptation strategies and plans at all levels and in all sectors, in line with the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change;
    • Improve, promote, and scale up the use of state-of-the art tools and solutions for adaptation modelling, risk assessment, management and decision support; adaptation monitoring, reporting and evaluation; and ex-ante project assessment tools to better identify co-benefits and positive impacts on the economy of adaptation and prevention projects;
    • Support the rollout of viable nature-based solutions in the management of land, coastal and marine areas including through assessments, guidance, capacity building, and suitable financial approaches and products;
    • Approaches and solutions for adapting cities and regions to climate change, notably in support of the EU and Global Covenant of Mayors and of the European Climate Pact;
    • Approaches and solutions to ensure a stable and secure supply of high quality freshwater, prevent droughts, reduce water use, protect and restore wetlands, and prevent floods;
    • Solutions to climate-proof and enhance the resilience of infrastructure and buildings, including by using blue-green infrastructure and through cooperation with standardisation organisations;
    • Support preparedness for extreme weather events, notably at a local level and in the outermost regions;
    • Promote financial instruments and innovative solutions to deal with climate-induced risks, and public-private collaboration to reduce the share of uninsured climate-related economic losses, including by improving collection and access to climate-related economic loss data.
  • Climate Change Governance and Information, which will include actions contributing to climate change mitigation or adaptation:
    • Incentivise changes in behaviour and practices, as well as improving citizens’ knowledge and awareness, notably through the support of the implementation of the European Climate Pact, mainstreaming emission reduction and resource efficiency actions in relevant sectors;
    • Development and implementation of climate and energy strategies or mid-century strategies at local, regional and national level;
    • Improve greenhouse gas monitoring, accounting and reporting and contribute to policy monitoring, assessment and ex-post evaluation;
    • Information on best practices and awareness raising on climate change mitigation and adaptation, including on climate-proofing of infrastructure investment and policies;
    • Development of climate services and promotion of climate science;
    • Development and promotion of sustainable finance instruments and support for climate diplomacy.

The sub-programme Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation may cover activities related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, as far they are not covered by the Clean Energy Transition sub-programme calls in that same year.

Link Link to Programme
Climate Change Mitigation
Description of call
"Climate Change Mitigation"


Projects under the Climate Change Mitigation Priority Area should contribute to the socially just and sustainable transition towards a climate neutral economy by 2050 and to reaching the EU emission reduction target for 2030 of at least 55% compared with 1990 levels.

Union climate policy and legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions focuses in particular on:

  • renewable energy,
  • energy efficiency,
  • the emissions trading system,
  • energy and greenhouse gas intensive industrial production,
  • land use, agriculture and forestry,
  • conservation and enhancement of natural carbon sinks,
  • transport and fuels,
  • fluorinated gases and ozone depleting substances,
  • carbon capture and use; as well as carbon capture and storage,
  • greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting,
  • efforts by all sectors of society and economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including public bodies (national, regional and local authorities); private commercial entities; or non-commercial organisations (unions, civil society organisations, educational institutions, consumer groups), and
  • behavioural change, also through activities of the European Climate Pact.

Scope and areas of intervention:

  1. Actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System, including the reduction of use of fluorinated greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances
    1. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and other fluorinated greenhouse gases do not deplete the ozone layer, but are climate gases with high Global Warming Potential (GWP), therefore their use needs to be reduced. This is why Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases includes a phase-down of HFCs by almost 80% by 2030. In 2016, an agreement was also reached under the Montreal Protocol (the "Kigali Amendment") to phase-down HFCs at global level. Therefore, in general terms, projects shall help the implementation of the Kigali Amendment and the EU Regulation on reducing the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases.

The LIFE call 2021 encourages in particular projects which address:

  • Availability of suitable alternatives to fluorinated gases
  • Reclamation and recycling of fluorinated greenhouse gases
  • Removal of barriers posed by standards
  1. Actions to support the shift to zero-emission mobility - The European Green Deal calls for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport sector, in order for the EU to become a climate-neutral economy by 2050, while also working towards a zero-pollution ambition. Given that transport represents a high proportion of total EU greenhouse gas emissions, the EU’s goal of an at least 55% greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030 and of climate neutrality by 2050 will be reached only by introducing more ambitious policies and initiatives to reduce transport’s reliance on fossil fuels without delay, and in synergy with zero pollution efforts. On the other hand, the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy sets out a vision for an irreversible shift to zero-emission mobility.
  1. Actions which enhance the functioning of the Emissions Trading System and which have an impact on energy and greenhouse gas intensive industrial production.

In order to reach the targets set out in the EU's 2030 Climate and Energy Framework and to contribute to the transformation towards a climate-neutral economy by 2050, significant investments in industrial innovation and demonstration plants are necessary. In this context, LIFE programme supports the development and implementation of advanced low-carbon manufacturing and processing breakthrough solutions. These are essential to maintain the competitiveness of EU industries while ensuring the climate objectives are reached.

Proposals shall focus and target energy-intensive industries (EIIs) and in particular those industries which may be exposed to a significant risk of carbon leakage.

Therefore, priority will be given to projects focusing on the development and demonstration of innovative and cost-effective technologies and processes, with the objective of reducing the greenhouse gases (GHG) emission intensity of manufacturing and processing industries.

  1. Increase the generation and use of renewable energy and improvement of energy efficiency (as far as not covered by specific calls under the Clean Energy Transition sub-programme).

The Climate Change Mitigation topic may cover activities related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, which do not address the specific requirements of the calls defined under the LIFE Clean energy-transition sub-programme.

  1. The development of land and sea management practices which have an impact on emissions and removals of emissions, conservation and enhancement of natural carbon sinks.

The land sector has an important role to play towards achieving the EU’s ambitious climate mitigation goals. It can contribute by: decreasing its emissions, increasing its capacity to store and sequester carbon, and providing other sectors with renewable and circular bio-based materials that are less GHG-intensive than fossil-based ones. These mitigation objectives must be pursued in synergy with other important land-related objectives, such as climate change adaptation and biodiversity protection.

In the context of the European Green Deal, the Commission is reviewing its main climate policy instruments to make them fit for the EU’s increased 2030 mitigation target of an at least 55% reduction in net emissions. The review also addresses legislation that is relevant for the land sector, such as the Effort Sharing Regulation (which covers emissions from agriculture) and the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation; this legislation mainly addresses Member States by means of national targets. In addition, the Commission will promote the concept of Carbon Farming to encourage land-based mitigation action at the level of individual actors in the land sectors; in particular, the Farm to Fork Strategy12 announced that the Commission will launch a carbon farming initiative by the end of 2021 to promote carbon sequestration as new green business model. This initiative will be followed, in 2023, by a Commission’s proposal for a mechanism to certify carbon removals, as announced in the Circular Economy Action Plan.

Against this policy background, Standard Action Projects under this area of intervention should be in line with both the EU’s higher mitigation ambition and the objective to provide individual actors with financial incentives for land-based climate action.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Mobility & Transport/Traffic
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Albania / Shqipëria
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Albania / Shqipëria
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Eligible applicants Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Education and Training Centres, Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, Other, National Government, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
    • non-EU countries:
      • listed EEA countries and countries associated to the LIFE Programme (participating countries) or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature
  • the coordinator must be established in an eligible country
Project Partner Details

Entities from other countries are exceptionally eligible, if the granting authority considers their participation essential for the implementation of the action (see work programme).

Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).

International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.

Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees for the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons34.

EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.

Entities composed of members may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. Please note that if the action will be implemented by the members, they should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible).

Beneficiaries from countries with ongoing negotiations may participate in the call and can sign grants if the negotiations are concluded before grant signature (with retroactive effect, if provided in the agreement).

Special rules apply for certain entities (e.g. entities subject to EU restrictive measures under Article 29 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) and entities covered by Commission Guidelines No 2013/C 205/0537). Such entities are not eligible to participate in any capacity, including as beneficiaries, affiliated entities, associated partners, subcontractors or recipients of financial support to third parties (if any).

Project duration max 120 months
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:

  • Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
  • Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
  • Part C (to be filled in directly online) containing additional project data
  • mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):
    • detailed budget table (mandatory excel template available in the Submission System)
    • participant information

Page limit - Part B: 120 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details

Topic budget: EUR 30,500,000.00

Indicative range of project budgets: EUR 1 to 5 Mio.

Estimated numner of projects to be funded: 15 projects

Funding rate for Standard Action Projects (SAPs): Maximum 60%

Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Contact Details

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