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LIFE projects

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Launched in 1992, the LIFE programme is the only EU fund entirely dedicated to environmental and climate objectives. It supports the implementation of relevant EU legislation and the development of key policy priorities, by co-financing projects with European added value. To date, LIFE has co -financed more than 5 000 projects.

The LIFE Programme for Environment and Climate Action 2021-2027, with a budget of €5,4 billion, is dedicated to addressing major environmental and climate change challenges across the EU. It has four sub-programmes: nature and biodiversity; circular economy and quality of life; climate change mitigation and adaptation; and clean energy transition.

The LIFE Multiannual Work Programme 2021-2024 dedicates €505 million to Climate Change Mitigation Adaptation. In addition, all of the new sub-programmes are expected to contribute to achieving the EU climate targets. Expanding investment in climate action through LIFE funding follows the EU approach of mainstreaming climate objectives into all of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) instruments. In total, 25% of the EU budget expenditure and 61% of the new LIFE financial envelope are expected to be climate-related.

There are a number of actions through which adaptation-related projects are implemented: 

  • Standard action projects (SAPs) supporting innovative and best practice solutions, as well as information, awareness raising and dissemination targets
  • Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) on a large territorial scale (regional, multi-regional, national or trans-national) implementing climate action plans or strategies developed by Member States' authorities and required by specific climate or relevant energy legislation or policy of the Union
  • Technical Assistance (TA) supporting the development of capacity for participation to Strategic Integrated Projects
  • Operating grants supporting the functioning of non-profit making entities which are involved in the development, implementation and enforcement of Union legislation and policy, and which are primarily active in the area of climate action

Applicants may be public bodies, private commercial organisations and private non-commercial organisations. Check here for information on open calls and selection criteria. 

LIFE funded adaptation projects have contributed to the development of adaptation plans and strategies on national, regional and local levels; mainstreamed adaptation into key sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, water management, urban planning, health, biodiversity management etc.; or addressed specific climate change related concerns in sectors through concrete implemented measures; as well as tested and developed innovative technologies and solutions for adaptation, raised awareness, encouraged stakeholder participation, enhanced adaptation governance, and developed the knowledge base for adaptation..

The key LIFE adaptation projects can be found in the Climate-ADAPT database (that regularly screened the new LIFE projects until 2022) and directly on the LIFE programme website where an up-to-date, comprehensive database of all completed and ongoing projects covering all funding strands, is available. Project information, referred to the funding period 2014-2020, can also be visualized on an interactive map.

LIFE is one of the key contributors to the European Green Deal, aiming to support the ambitious targets 2050. Projects co-financed  bring citizens, public bodies, industry and NGOs together to work for the climate and environment:  reducing emissions, restoring nature, and ensuring sustainable use of resources.

LIFE also supports the implementation of the European Climate Pact by incentivizing changes in behaviour and practices, as well as improving citizens’ knowledge and awareness.

LIFE projects on Climate-ADAPT

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