The LIFE programme is an instrument of the European Union intended to finance activities in the field of environmental, nature and climate protection. The aim of the LIFE program is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU policies and legislation in the field of environment, nature and climate through co-financing of projects that have European added value.
Through the LIFE programme, the European Union wants to contribute to protecting and improving the quality of the environment and reducing the impact of climate change by funding innovative projects that will contribute to the transition to a resource-efficient low-carbon economy.
The implementation of LIFE projects contributes to the sustainable development and implementation of the 2030 climate and energy policy framework and the integrated national energy and climate plans of the Member States, and to the implementation of the Union’s long-term climate and energy strategy.
LIFE started in 1992 (LIFE I: 1992-1995, LIFE II: 1996-1999, LIFE III: 2000-2006, LIFE +: 2007-2013 and LIFE 2014-2020) since when more than 5,000 projects in the field of protection have been co-financed environment and climate.
The European Commission (DG Environment and DG Climate Action) manages the LIFE programme. The Commission has delegated the implementation of the LIFE programme to the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), and external selection, monitoring and communication teams are supporting the Commission and CINEA.
Programme period 2021 – 2027
With the new Regulation, the LIFE Programme fully supports the objectives of the European Green Plan in transforming the EU into an equal and prosperous society with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy with no greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled. Also in the field of protection, preservation and strengthening of the EU’s natural capital and protection of the health and well-being of citizens from risks and impacts related to the environment and climate.
In the new programming period, the LIFE Programme is divided into two areas – Environment and Climate Action, each with two sub-programmes:
1. Environmental area:
- sub-programme “Nature and Biodiversity”
- sub-programme “Circular economy and quality of life”
2. Area Action in the field of climate:
- sub-programme “Climate change mitigation and adaptation”
- sub-programme “Transition to clean energy”
Allocation of funds
Financial envelope for the implementation of the LIFE Programme for the period 2021-2027 amounts to EUR 5 432 000 000.
EUR 3 488 000 000 is foreseen for the “Environment” area, of which for the sub-programmes:
- “Nature and biodiversity” – EUR 2 143 000 000
- “Circular economy and quality of life” – EUR 1 345 000 000
EUR 1 944 000 000 is foreseen for the area “Action in the field of climate”, of which for the sub-program:
- “Climate change mitigation and adaptation” – EUR 947 000 000
- “Transition to clean energy” – 997 000 000 EUR
Types of projects funded through the LIFE programme
Under the Regulation, the LIFE programme may provide different types of grants for the following types of projects:
- Standard Action Projects (SAP)
- Strategic Nature Projects (SNAP)
- Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP)
- Technical Assistance Projects
The co-financing rate through the LIFE programme is up to 60% of the total eligible costs, up to 75% for priority species from the sub-programme Nature and Biodiversity.
Any legal entity registered in the European Union: public bodies, private commercial organizations and non-profit organizations.
Consulting for the preparation of LIFE projects
The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development is the National Contact Point (NCP) for the LIFE program in Croatia. The NCP informs about the LIFE programme, general conditions, tender conditions and application possibilities. The NCP also assists potential applicants in the preparation of the LIFE project proposal, those whose project proposals have been approved and are in the revision phase, and facilitates communication with the competent authorities for more effective implementation of activities.