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What is the LIFE Programme of the European Union?

The LIFE Programme of the European Union, officially called Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE) was created in 1992. It is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action, which has co-financed more than 5,000 projects helping Europe to become greener. As of 2021, the LIFE programme includes the new Clean Energy Transition sub-programme.

The overall budget for the implementation of the LIFE programme 2021-2027 will be EUR 5.432 billion.

Join us and submit your project ideas under the Calls for proposals to address the challenges of environmental degradation, climate change and a clean energy transition.


The LIFE programme‘s main goals are to:

  • help make the shift towards a more sustainable, circular, energy-efficient, renewable energy-based, climate-neutral and -resilient economy.
  • protect, restore and enhance our environment.
  • halt and reverse biodiversity loss.
  • stop the degradation of ecosystems by managing and enhancing the Natura 2000 network, thereby boosting sustainable development.
  • encourage and support green ideas from both large and small companies, NGOs, public authorities, citizen groups and academia, amongst others.

The LIFE programme will help the EU to reach its European Green Deal ambitions by:

  • transforming the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are zero net emissions in 2050 and where economic growth is separate from resource use.
  • protecting, conserving and enhancing nature across the continent.
  • safeguarding the health and well-being of citizens from environment and climate-related impacts.

Programme structure:

The LIFE programme is divided into two strands: one for the environment and another for climate action.

The environment strand has two sub-programmes:

  1. Nature and biodiversity
  2. Circular economy and quality of life

The climate action strand also has two sub-programmes:

  1. Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  2. Clean energy transition (continuation of H2020 Energy Efficiency market uptake)

LIFE will publish two Multi-Annual Work Programmes (MAWP) for the 2021-2024 and 2025-2027 timeframes. These will include details on:

  • the four sub-programmes
  • funding allocation
  • types of projects and co-financing rates
  • submission and selection procedures, including award criteria
  • Calls for Proposals timelines

Each year, LIFE will publish Calls for Proposals for different types of projects.

From 1 April 2021, the LIFE programme will be managed by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA).

Source: Funding & Tenders Portal