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 combine LIFE funding with other sources of support to maximise their impact over a large area (regional, multi-regional, national or trans-national).Under the environment sub-programme, these large-scale projects implement environmental plans or strategies required by specific EU laws.

They primarily concern areas of nature (including Natura 2000 network management), water, waste, and air.

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

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 55%.

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