EU: The LIFE Programme

The LIFE Programme for the Environment and Climate Change 2014-2020 is divided into two sub-programmes: environment and climate action. LIFE Climate Action will support projects in the development of innovative ways to respond to the challenges of climate change in Europe.

Supporting a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy

The Climate Action sub-programme will provide €864 million in co-financing for climate projects between 2014 and 2020. Its main objectives are to:

  • Contribute to the shift towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy
  • Improve the development, implementation and enforcement of EU climate change policy and legislation
  • Support better environmental and climate change governance at all levels
  • Support the implementation of the 7th Environment Action Programme

Three priority areas

LIFE Climate Action supports public authorities, non-governmental organisations and private actors, especially small and medium enterprises, in implementing low-carbon and adaptation technologies and new methods and approaches. The programme focuses on three priority areas:

  1. Mitigation: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in key sectors, such as land-use;
  2. Adaptation: Increasing resilience to climate change with a particular focus on urban adaptation in the first programming period; and
  3. Governance and information: Enhancing climate governance and capacity-building, increasing awareness, communication, cooperation and dissemination of information on mitigation and adaptation actions.

Funding will be available for pilot, demonstration and best practice projects. A new type of project – integrated projects – is introduced in 2015 to support the integration of climate action. Climate change mitigation or adaptation strategies, action plans or roadmaps required  under Union legislation, developed pursuant to other Union acts or developed by Member States’ authorities could be financed through these new projects.

There are two programming periods: 2014-2017 (see Multiannual Work Programme) and 2018-2020.

Private financing opportunities

As well as the possibility to receive grants for projects, funding can also be channelled through two pilot financial instruments, the Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF) and the Private Finance for Energy Efficiency (PF4EE). This provides the opportunity to leverage private finance through loans and guarantees via the European Investment Bank and local banks.

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