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Programme: LIFE

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Programme
LIFE
Acronym LIFE
Type of Fund Action programme
Description of programme
"LIFE"

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value.

The LIFE Programme shall in particular have the following general objectives:

  • to contribute to the shift towards a resource-efficient, lowcarbon and climate- resilient economy, to the protection and improvement of the quality of the environment and to halting and reversing biodiversity loss, including the support of the Natura 2000 network and tackling the degradation of ecosystems;
  • to improve the development, implementation and enforcement of Union environmental and climate policy and legislation, and to act as a catalyst for, and promote, the integration and mainstreaming of environmental and climate objectives into other Union policies and public and private sector practice, including by increasing the public and private sector's capacity;
  • to support better environmental and climate governance at all levels, including better involvement of civil society, NGOs and local actors;
  • to support the implementation of the 7th Environment Action Programme.
Link Link to Programme
Thematic Focus Energy, Capacity Building, Disaster Prevention, Climate, Environment & biodiversity, Natural ressources
EU Macro-Regions
Danube Region, Adriatic and Ionian Region, Alpine Region, Baltic Sea Region
Funding area EU Member States
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Eligible applicants Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, National Government, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Public Services
Applicant details

The LIFE Programme may fund public and private bodies.

Type of Funding Grant
Contact Details

For detailed information on LIFE national contact points, please follow this link.


Subprogrammes of LIFE

Environment

The sub-programme for Environment covers the priority areas:

  • Environment and Resource Efficiency,
  • Nature and Biodiversity, and
  • Environmental Governance and Information

Subprogrammes of Environment
  1. Priority area Environmental Governance and Information

    LIFE Environmental Governance & Information (sub-programme for Environment) will co-finance action grants for information, awareness and dissemination projects to promote awareness raising on environmental matters, including generating public and stakeholder support of Union policy-making in the field of the environment, and to promote knowledge on sustainable development and new patterns for sustainable consumption; to support communication, management, and dissemination of information in the field of the environment, and to facilitate knowledge sharing on successful environmental solutions and practice, including by developing cooperation platforms among stakeholders and training; and to promote and contribute to more effective compliance with and enforcement of Union environmental legislation, in particular by promoting the development and dissemination of best practices and policy approaches.
     

    The specific objectives of the priority area LIFE Environmental Governance and Information are:
    • to promote awareness raising on environmental matters, including generating public and stakeholder support of Union policy-making in the field of the environment, and to promote knowledge on sustainable development and new patterns for sustainable consumption;
    • to support communication, management, and dissemination of information in the field of the environment, and to facilitate knowledge sharing on successful environmental solutions and practice, including by developing cooperation platforms among stakeholders and training;
    • to promote and contribute to more effective compliance with and enforcement of Union environmental legislation, in particular by promoting the development and dissemination of best practices and policy approaches;
    • to promote better environmental governance by broadening stakeholder involvement, including NGOs, in consultation on and implementation of policy
    Thematic priority for Information, communication and awareness raising campaigns:
    • Water
    • Waste
    • Resource Efficiency including soil and forests, and green and circular economy
    • Air quality and emissions, including urban environment
    • Environment and Health including Chemicals and Noise
    • Nature and Biodiversity
    • Governance and enforcement
    Thematic priority for Activities in support of effective control process as well as measures to promote compliance:
    • Enforcement, inspections and surveillance
    • Sharing of best practice
    • Promoting non-judicial conflict resolution
  2. Priority area Environment and Resource Efficiency
    The priority area Environment and Resource Efficiency focuses on:
    • developing, testing and demonstrating policy or management approaches, best practices and solutions to environmental challenges, and in support of resource efficiency-related policy and legislation, including the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe.
    • improving the knowledge base for the development, implementation, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of Union environmental policy and legislation, and for the assessment and monitoring of the factors, pressures and responses that impact on the environment within and outside the Union.
    The thematic priorities:
    • Thematic priorities for Water, including the marine environment
    • Thematic priorities for Waste
    • Thematic priorities for Resource Efficiency, including soil and forests, and green and circular economy
    • Thematic priorities for Environment and Health, including chemicals and noise
    • Thematic priorities for Air quality and emissions, including urban environment
    LIFE Environment and Resource Efficiency support will be allocated to the best proposals in terms of innovative solutions for important environmental issues, leading to viable as well as qualitatively and quantitatively measurable concrete results. Proposals must be highly visible and technically and financially sound. They should incorporate the dissemination of knowledge. The demonstration character is particularly important; projects must be implemented on a technical scale that allows evaluation of technical and economic viability of large scale introduction. LIFE Environment and Resource Efficiency is not directed at research or at investment in existing technology. LIFE aims to bridge the gap between research, policy and development results and widespread implementation, and to improve innovative solutions.
  3. Priority area Nature and Biodiversity
    LIFE Nature & Biodiversity aims specifically at contributing to the development and implementation of EU policy and legislation in the area of nature and biodiversity. Projects financed must have a European added value and be complementary to those actions that can be financed under other EU funds during the period 2014–2020.

    The priority area LIFE Nature & Biodiversity focuses on:
    • contributing to the development and implementation of EU policy and legislation in the area of nature and biodiversity, in the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 20209, and the Birds and Habitats Directives10;
    • supporting the further development, implementation and management of the Natura 2000 network; and
    • improving the knowledge base for the development, implementation, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of EU nature and biodiversity policy and legislation, and for assessing and monitoring factors, pressures and responses that impact on nature and biodiversity.
    There are two distinct sectors of projects which are intended to complement each other: LIFE Nature projects and LIFE Biodiversity projects. A proposed project submitted under the priority area LIFE Nature & Biodiversity must either be a LIFE Nature or a LIFE Biodiversity project.

    Thematic priorities for LIFE Nature projects: activities for the implementation of the Birds and/or Habitats Directives in particular:
    1. Activities aimed at improving the conservation status of habitats and species, including marine habitat and species, and bird species, of Union interest;
    2. Activities in support of the Natura 2000 network bio-geographical seminars;
    3. Integrated approaches for the implementation of prioritised action frameworks.

    Thematic priorities for LIFE Biodiversity projects: activities for the implementation of the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.
    Thus, LIFE Nature relates specifically to the objectives of the Birds and Habitats Directives, while LIFE Biodiversity is not restricted to the objectives of the Birds and Habitats Directives, but supports the broader implementation of the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. A nature conservation project that targets exclusively species/habitats of the Birds / Habitats Directives should normally be submitted as a LIFE Nature project. Other projects are more likely to fit better within the requirements of LIFE Biodiversity (N.B. Proposals submitted under NAT or BIO will be evaluated accordingly, no reclassification will be possible).

Climate Action

LIFE Climate Action is one of the two sub-programmes of the European Union's main funding programme for the environment. It supports both climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation projects. Mitigation projects contribute to substantially reducing Europe's greenhouse gas emissions; adaptation projects address the inevitable impacts of climate change. This part of LIFE co-finances projects that help develop and demonstrate the most effective technologies, tools and methodologies that can be taken to meet EU's policy targets on climate change.

The sub-programme for Climate Action shall have three priority areas:

  • Climate Change Mitigation;
  • Climate Change Adaptation;
  • Climate Governance and Information.

It is encouraged, where relevant, for projects to contribute to more than one of those priority areas and to involve the participation of more than one Member State. Synergies with other environmental and climate policies should be a central theme of adaptation projects.


Subprogrammes of Climate Action
  1. Climate change governance and information
    Projects under the Climate Governance and Information Priority Area should promote actions contributing to objective of shifting towards a low carbon and resilient economy.
    In this context, the development of long term climate strategies and new policy measures, full implementation of climate policy and legislation as well as ensuring a higher uptake of climate friendly technologies is important. These aspects are inextricably linked to achieving, better governance, mainstreaming climate action in other policies as well as promoting knowledge, dissemination of information and stakeholder involvement.

    This year projects aiming to enhance climate governance and capacity-building are strongly encouraged to ensure a high impact, e.g. train the trainers' programmes. Pure awareness raising activities (like creating a webpage) are not encouraged. Projects could develop cooperation platforms and share best practices for more effective compliance, enforcement and mainstreaming, and generate support from the public and stakeholders for the Union's policy-making efforts
  2. Climate Change Adaptation
    The EU Adaptation Strategy provides some concrete indications of the characteristics of projects sought and of specific project priorities. It states that LIFE funding for adaptation will give priority to projects that address key cross-sectoral, trans-regional and/or cross-border issues. Projects with demonstration and transferability potential will be encouraged, as will be green infrastructure and ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation, and projects aiming to promote innovative adaptation technologies. In addition, the European Union will promote adaptation particularly in the following vulnerable areas:
    • cross-border management of floods, fostering collaborative agreements based on the EU Floods Directive;
    • trans-boundary coastal management, with emphasis on densely populated deltas and coastal cities;
    • mainstreaming adaptation into urban land use planning, building layouts and natural resources management;
    • mountain and island areas, with emphasis on sustainable and resilient agricultural, forestry and tourism sectors;
    • sustainable management of water; combating desertification and forest fires in drought-prone areas;
    The Strategy further states that the European Union will support the establishment of vulnerability assessments and adaptation strategies, including those with a cross-border nature.
  3. Climate Change Mitigation

    According to the LIFE Regulation, LIFE Climate Change Mitigation projects must be pilot, demonstration or best practise projects.

    Projects under this priority area need to achieve a lasting change towards a low-carbon society. They will be evaluated on their EU added value, how they can create synergies with existing possibilities and how they can be replicated.

    The LIFE Regulation states that to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions the priority area of Climate Change Mitigation has in particular the following specific objectives:
    • to contribute to the implementation and development of Union policy and legislation on climate change mitigation, including mainstreaming across policy areas, in particular by developing, testing and demonstrating policy or management approaches, best practices and solutions for climate change mitigation;
    • to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of effective climate change mitigation actions and measures and to enhance the capacity to apply that knowledge in practice;
    • to facilitate the development and implementation of integrated approaches, such as for climate change mitigation strategies and action plans, at local, regional or national level;
    • to contribute to the development and demonstration of innovative climate change mitigation technologies, systems, methods and instruments that are suitable for being replicated, transferred or mainstreamed.
    Projects within the following areas are encouraged, in particular:
    • Energy intensive industries
    • Fluorinated greenhouse gases
    • Land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF)
    Moreover, proposals aiming at piloting or demonstrating technical solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through eco-innovation, circular economy and other means are encouraged to present "close-to-market" projects. Such proposals should build on best available technologies and advance the technology readiness levels towards industrial and commercial scale. Industrialization and commercialization can already start during the LIFE project and are supported through business models, investment and market analyses, and credible business plans. Such proposals should include a thorough replication and transferability strategy with respective activities.

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