LIFE Programme

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value. LIFE began in 1992 and to date there have been four complete phases of the programme (LIFE I: 1992-1995, LIFE II: 1996-1999, LIFE III: 2000-2006 and LIFE+: 2007-2013). During this period, LIFE has co-financed some 3954 projects across the EU, contributing approximately €3.1 billion to the protection of the environment.

The ongoing LIFE multiannual work programme for 2014-2017 sets the framework for the next four years for the management of the new LIFE Programme 2014-2020. It contains an indicative budget, explains the selection methodology for projects and for operating grants and establishes outcome indicators for the two LIFE sub-programmes – for Environment and for Climate Action.

The total budget for funding projects during the period covered amounts to €1.1 billion under the sub-programme for Environment and €0.36 billion under the sub-programme for Climate Action.

The sub-programme for Environment covers the priority areas Environment and Resource Efficiency, Nature and Biodiversity, and Environmental Governance and Information. Each of the priority areas covers several thematic priorities, listed in Annex III to the LIFE Regulation. The present MAWP 2014-17 furthermore defines project topics implementing the thematic priorities.

The sub-programme for Climate Action offers a new and unique opportunity to support the implementation of the EU’s climate policy. Overall, it will help induce transitional change towards a low carbon and climate resilient economy in the EU, strategically underpinning the implementation of the 2020 climate and energy package and the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change, and prepare the EU for the climate action challenges until 2030. It should also support better climate governance at all levels, including better involvement of civil society, NGOs and local actors.