life subsidie

LIFE is the only European grant scheme specifically dedicated to the environment. The programme focuses on projects that demonstrate innovative concepts or technologies with European added value.

The development and implementation of EU policy on the environment and climate issues is an important focus, as is an emphasis on monitoring and knowledge dissemination. Specifically, the new programme for the period 2021-2027 will focus on the following three aspects:

  • Transition towards a clean, circular, energy-efficient, less fossil-based and climate-robust economy, including sustainable energy transition;
  • Improving and protecting the quality of the environment; and
  • Halting and reversing biodiversity degradation, with attention for sustainable development.

The budget for the period 2021-2027 is €5.45 billion. LIFE has two programmes, each with two subcategories. More information is provided below.

Programme Environment

Sub-programme Circular Economy & Quality of Life  

  • This includes projects focusing on best practice, technology, and solutions at local, regional, and national levels. An example is finding solutions for plastic pollution in the ocean.
  • The total budget comprises €1.35 billion.

Sub-programme Nature and Biodiversity

Programme Climate Action 

Sub-programme Climate Mitigation and Adaptation

  • This programme is aimed at mitigating and creating resilience to the consequences of climate change. You may think of the creation of urban nature, but also the development of, for example, alternative nature management strategies.
  • The budget for this programme comprises €0.95 billion.

Sub-programme Sustainable Energy Transition

  • This programme is intended for projects that work on the transition towards sustainable energy in Europe. In addition, there is extra attention for regions that have less access to other subsidies and are therefore at risk of being left behind. Examples are small-scale renewable energy sources and projects aimed at energy efficiency.
  • The total budget amounts to €1 billion.

LIFE Target Groups

LIFE is open to governments, companies, knowledge institutions, and NGOs working on demonstration projects in the fields of nature and biodiversity, innovative environmental technology, and climate change. Whilst international cooperation is an advantage, unlike most other European grant schemes, it is not obligatory.

Key Figures

  • In 2021 there will be a single call with 1 phase for all themes
  • Grant percentage: 50-70% of eligible costs
  • Average grant size: € 1-3 million
  • Typical project duration: 3-5 years

Examples of projects subsidised with LIFE


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