The Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE) 2014-2020 is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.
The LIFE Programme shall in particular have the following general objectives:
- to contribute to the shift towards a resource-efficient, low- carbon 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.
Structure of the Programme
The general objectives shall be pursued through the following sub-programmes:
- the sub-programme for Environment (2 592 491 250 EUR);
- the sub-programme for Climate Action (864 163 750 EUR).
The sub-programme for Environment shall have three priority areas:
- Environment and Resource Efficiency;
- Nature and Biodiversity;
- Environmental Governance and Information.
The sub-programme for Climate Action shall have three priority areas:
- Climate Change Mitigation;
- Climate Change Adaptation;
- Climate Governance and Information.
Union funding may take the following legal forms:
- public procurement contracts;
- contributions to financial instruments in accordance with provisions on financial instruments under Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, in particular Articles 139 and 140 thereof, and with operational requirements set out in specific Union acts;
- any other interventions needed for the purpose of achieving the general objectives.
Action grants may finance the following projects:
(a) pilot projects;
(b) demonstration projects;
(c) best practice projects;
(d) integrated projects;
(e) technical assistance projects;
(f) capacity-building projects;
(g) preparatory projects;
(h) information, awareness, and dissemination projects;
(i) any other projects needed for the purpose of achieving the general objectives.
At least 81 % of the budgetary resources for the LIFE Programme shall be allocated to projects supported by way of action grants or, where appropriate, financial instruments.
The LIFE Programme may fund public and private bodies. The LIFE Programme shall be open to the participation of the following countries:
- European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which are parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA);
- candidate countries, potential candidates and acceding countries to the Union;
- countries to which the European Neighbourhood Policy applies;
- countries which have become members of the European Environmental Agency in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 933/1999.
Such participation shall be pursued in accordance with the conditions laid down in the respective bilateral or multilateral agreements establishing the general principles for those third countries' participation in Union programmes.
The financial envelope for the implementation of the LIFE Programme for the period from 2014 to 2020 is set at EUR 3 456 655 000 in current prices,