LIFE programme is a European Union financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. The program is designed to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value.
Funding under the LIFE programme is implemented on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 2021/783 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2021 establishing a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE), and repealing Regulation (EU) No. 1293/2013, published here: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/BG
Since the launch of the program in 1992, around 5,500 projects have been funded in the EU and in third countries.
The implementation of the LIFE programme is coordinated by CINEA - European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency https://cinea.ec.europa.eu
In 2020, the European Commission increased funding under the LIFE programme by almost 60% for the period 2021 - 2027. With this, the programme extended its scope with four new sub-programmes:
- nature and biodiversity
- circular economy and quality of life
- climate change mitigation and adaptation
- clean energy transition.
Nature and biodiversity –here will be more LIFE projects to help protect Europe’s nature, thereby contributing to sustainable development. New “Strategic Nature Projects” are also foreseen. These will help mainstream nature and biodiversity policies into other areas like agriculture and rural development. This sub-programme supports the implementation of the EU’s Birds• and Habitats Directives as well as the EU’s Biodiversity strategy for 2030. It will also help develop the Natura 2000 network.
Climate change mitigation and adaptation – cutting greenhouse gas emissions, increasing climate change resilience and boosting awareness of climate change mitigation will remain a top priority for the European Commission until 2027. This sub-programme helps to make the shift towards a sustainable, energy-efficient, renewable energy-based, climate-neutral and resilient economy. To this end, LIFE projects will support the Commission's Climate Target Plan and its climate neutrality ambitions.
Circular economy and quality of life – LIFE projects will develop technologies and solutions to enhance the circular economy. Projects include the recovery of resources from waste, and others on water, air, noise, soil and chemical management as well as environmental governance. This sub-programme aims to support the implementation of the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan.
Also, this sub-programme aims at protecting, restoring and improving the quality of the environment, either through direct interventions or via other policies.
Clean energy transition – The aim of this new sub-programme is to fund projects devoted to energy efficiency and small-scale renewables to support the Clean energy for all Europeans package. It will ease the transition towards an energy-efficient, renewable energy-based, climate-neutral and resilient economy. It will stimulate the removal of the market barriers that can hamper the socio-economic transition to sustainable energy.