LIFE - Environment sub-programme

The LIFE programme is divided into two sub-programmes, one for environment (representing 75% of the overall financial envelope) and one for climate action (representing 25% of the envelope).

Traditional projects

Nature and biodiversity

The environment sub-programme funds nature conservation projects in particular in the areas of biodiversity, habitats and species. It provides action grants for best practice, pilot and demonstration projects that contribute to the implementation of the EU’s directives on birds and habitats, the EU’s biodiversity strategy to 2020, and the development, implementation and management of the Natura 2000 network.

Projects receive a co-funding of up to 60%. The co-financing rate can be up to 75% if at least half of the total estimated project costs are used for actions to improve the conservation status of priority habitats or species listed in the EU’s birds and habitats directives.

Environment and resource efficiency

LIFE co-finances projects in the environmental sector in particular in the areas of air, chemicals, green and circular economy, industrial accidents, marine and coastal management, noise, soil, waste, water, and the urban environment. The programme provides action grants for pilot and demonstration projects to develop, test and demonstrate policy or management approaches. It also covers the development and demonstration of innovative technologies, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of EU environmental policy and law, as well as best practices and solutions. The European Commission is particularly looking for technologies and solutions that are ready to be implemented in close-to-market conditions, at industrial or commercial scale, during the project duration.

Projects receive a co-funding of up to 55%.

Environmental governance and information

The programme supports projects in the areas of awareness raising, environmental training and capacity building, legislative compliance and enforcement, knowledge development and public and stakeholder participation.It co-finances action grants for information, awareness and dissemination projects that aim to promote awareness raising on environmental matters. This includes cooperation platforms and knowledge sharing on sustainable environmental solutions and practice.

Projects receive a co-funding of up to 55%.

Integrated projects

Integrated projects are strategic projects supporting EU Member States to achieve full implementation of Strategies or Action Plans required by the EU environmental and climate legislation. They are implemented at national or regional scales, involving relevant authorities and very significant budgets from several EU and national sources, lasting for 6-10 years on average.

Under the sub-programme for environment, these large-scale projects implement plans, strategies or roadmaps in the areas of nature (including Natura 2000 network management), water, waste, and air.

Projects receive a co-funding of up to 60%, with an average of €10 million LIFE grant per project.
For more information please read this presentation and check examples of ongoing projects in this leaflet and in our project database (choose as strand “Integrated Projects for Environment”).

Preparatory projects

Preparatory projects address specific needs for the development and implementation of EU environmental policy and law. The specific topics are indicated in the annual call for proposals.

Projects receive a co-funding of up to 60%.

Technical assistance

Technical assistance projects provide action grants and financial support to help applicants prepare integrated projects.

Projects receive a co-funding of up to 60%.

Further resources

Share this page: