The Life Programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment, and is the catalyst for promoting implementation of environmental and climate objectives. It will have two sub-programmes, one for Environmental and one for Climate Action.
The objectives of the Life Programme are 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. The Programme also aims to improve the development, implementation and enforcement of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation, to catalyse and promote integration and mainstreaming of environmental and climate objectives into other policies, and to support better environmental and climate governance.
Action grants may finance the following projects: pilot projects; demonstration projects; best practice projects; integrated projects primarily in the areas of nature, water, waste, air, and climate change mitigation and adaptation; technical assistance projects; preparatory projects; information, awareness and dissemination projects; any other projects needed for the purpose of achieving the objectives.
For the first time LIFE project funding is also being provided through innovative financial instruments. The LIFE Environment sub-programme contributes to one such instrument, the pilot Natural Capital Financing (NCFF) financial instrument, which falls under the Nature and Biodiversity project area and will help finance biodiversity projects, amongst other things.
The ‘Environment’ strand of the programme covers three priority areas: environment and resource efficiency; nature and biodiversity; and environmental governance and information.
The ‘Climate Action’ strand covers climate change mitigation; climate change adaptation; and climate governance and information.
The programme also consists of a category of projects, jointly funded integrated projects, which will operate on a large territorial scale. These projects will aim to implement environmental and climate policy and to better integrate such policy aims into other policy areas.