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Environment and climate action (LIFE) under CINEA

Target group
SMEs, Large Enterprises, Government, Cities, Communities & NGOs, Knowledge Centers
Type of funding
Loans & Investments, Equity financing
Project type
Research, Innovation
Environment & Climate Action, Funding Researchers, Innovation, International Cooperation, Partnerships with Industry & MS, SMEs, Social Sciences and Humanities, Manufacturing
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Info last updated 2 months ago


EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU


€5.4 billion (2021-2027)

Official information source




Environment and climate action (LIFE) under CINEA (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency)


The LIFE programme is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed more than 4500 projects. For the 2014-2020 funding period, LIFE has contributed approximately €3.4 billion to the protection of the environment and climate.

For the 2021-2027 funding period LIFE will contribute €5.4 billion to the protection of the environment and climate.


Funding opportunities

The new LIFE programme shall be divided into four sub-programmes: Nature and biodiversity, Circular economy and quality of life, Climate change mitigation and adaptation, and Clean energy transition.


Nature and Biodiversity

Nature and Biodiversity sub-programme

The Nature and Biodiversity sub-programme will aim at the protection and restoration of Europe’s nature and halting and reversing biodiversity loss. Thus, the LIFE Nature and Biodiversity sub-programme will continue to fund nature conservation projects, in particular in the areas of biodiversity, habitats and species. It will support projects that contribute to the implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats directives, and in particular the development and management of the Natura 2000 network, and the IAS Regulation, and will support achieving the objectives of the EU’s biodiversity strategy for 2030, part of the EU Green Deal.


Circular Economy and Quality of Life

Circular economy and quality of life sub-programme

The Circular economy and quality of life sub-programme aims at facilitating the transition toward a sustainable, circular, toxic-free, energy-efficient and climate-resilient economy and at protecting, restoring and improving the quality of the environment, either through direct interventions or by supporting the integration of those objectives in other policies.

Thus, LIFE will continue to co-finance projects in the environmental sector, in particular in the area of the circular economy, including recovery of resources from waste, water, air, noise, soil and chemical management as well as environmental governance. The sub-programme provides mostly action grants for projects implementing innovative and best practice solutions in these areas through the so-called Standard Action Projects (SAP). It also covers the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of EU environmental policy and law through the so-called Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs). The European Commission will continue to look for solutions that are ready to be implemented in close-to-market conditions, at industrial or commercial scale, during the project duration.


Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation sub-programme

The Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation sub-programme will contribute to the shift towards a sustainable, energy-efficient, renewable energy-based, climate-neutral and resilient economy, thereby contributing to sustainable development.


Climate change mitigation

The climate sub-programme supports projects in the areas of farming, land use, peatland management, renewable energies and energy efficiency.

It provides support for pilot, demonstration and best practice projects that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the implementation and development of EU policy and legislation, best practices and solutions.

The sub-programme also promotes integrated approaches, to implement climate change mitigation strategies and action plans at regional or national level.


Climate change adaptation

The LIFE programme co-finances projects in the areas of urban adaptation and land-use planning, resilience of infrastructure, sustainable management of water in drought-prone areas, flood and coastal management, resilience of the agricultural, forestry and tourism sectors, and/or support to the EU's outermost regions: preparedness for extreme weather events, notably in coastal areas.

It provides action grants for best practice, pilot and demonstration projects that contribute to increase resilience to climate change.

The climate sub-programme also promotes Integrated projects that implement EU policy and strategy on climate change adaptation.


Climate governance and information

The programme co-funds projects supporting the operation of the European Climate Pact, sustainable finance activities, awareness raising, training and capacity building, knowledge development and stakeholder participation in climate change mitigation and adaptation areas.

LIFE provides action grants for information, awareness and dissemination projects on climate matters. This includes public and stakeholder support for EU policy-making, supporting communication, management and dissemination of information to facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation platforms, providing training and fostering the development and dissemination of best practices and policy approaches.


Clean Energy Transition

LIFE Clean Energy Transition sub-programme

Building on the success of the Intelligent Energy Europe (2003-2013) and Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency (2014-2020) programmes, the LIFE Clean Energy Transition sub-programme continues to support the delivery of EU policies in the field of sustainable energy, in particular, the European Green Deal, the Energy Union (2030 energy and climate targets) and the European Union’s 2050 long-term decarbonisation strategy.

The LIFE Clean Energy Transition sub-programme has a budget of nearly EUR 1 billion over the period of 2021-2027 and aims at facilitating the transition towards an energy-efficient, renewable energy-based, climate-neutral and -resilient economy by funding coordination and support actions (Other Action Grants) across Europe. These are actions of high EU added-value, which are targeted at breaking market barriers that hamper the socio-economic transition to sustainable energy, and typically engage multiple small and medium-sized stakeholders, multiple actors including local and regional public authorities and non-profit organisations, as well as consumers.

Projects are co-financed under the LIFE Clean Energy Transition sub-programme in the following five areas of intervention:

  • Building a national, regional and local policy framework supporting the clean energy transition;
  • Accelerating technology roll-out, digitalisation, new services and business models and enhancement of the related professional skills on the market;
  • Attracting private finance for sustainable energy;
  • Supporting the development of local and regional investment projects;
  • Involving and empowering citizens in the clean energy transition.


Calls for Proposals

All LIFE calls for proposals will be published on CINEA's website as well as the European Commission’s Funding & Tenders portal.


Support for Applicants

Calls for proposals

Timetables and application packages.


Are you an SME, start-up or entity

looking for support to develop your cleantech solution and bring it to the market?


LIFE Calls for proposals 2022

All LIFE Calls for proposals 2022 are published on the Funding & tender opportunities portal since 17 May 2022.

Recordings and presentations from the virtual information sessions on Calls 2022 (18-20 May 2022)

From 18 – 20 May, CINEA held virtual information sessions to guide potential applicants through the LIFE 2022 Calls for proposals.

You can find the recordings and presentations of each sub-programme under the respective calls on CINEA’s central Calls for Proposals page

Deadlines to submit your proposal

LIFE Calls for proposals 2022 submission deadlines:

  • Standard Action Projects (SAPs) for circular economy and quality of life, nature and biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation sub-programmes: 4 October 2022
  • LIFE Action Grants for clean energy transition sub-programme: 16 November 2022
  • Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) and Strategic Nature Projects (SNAPs):
    • Concept notes: 8 September 2022
    • Full proposals: 30 March 2023
  • Technical Assistance preparation for SIPs and SNAPs: 8 September 2022                    
  • Specific Operating Grant Agreements (SGA OG) for non-profit making entities: 21 September 2022


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for the 2022 LIFE Call

Other useful information 

Call Document LIFE-2022-CET

Call Document LIFE-2022-PLP

Call Document LIFE-2022-SAP-CLIMA

Call Document LIFE-2022-SAP-ENV

Call Document LIFE-2022-SAP-NAT

Call Document LIFE-2022-STRAT-TWO-STAGE

Call Document LIFE-2022-TA-PP

Please find here the LIFE Regulation and Multi-Annual Work Programme 2021-2024.


Type of grants

Standard Action Projects (SAP)

Projects, other than strategic integrated projects, strategic nature projects or technical assistance projects, that pursue the specific objectives of the LIFE programme.

Strategic Nature Projects (SNAP)

Projects that support the achievement of Union nature and biodiversity objectives by implementing coherent programmes of action in Member States in order to mainstream those objectives and priorities into other policies and financing instruments, including through coordinated implementation of the prioritised action frameworks adopted pursuant to Directive 92/43/EEC.

Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP)

Projects that implement, on a regional, multi-regional, national or transnational scale, environmental or climate strategies or action plans developed by Member States' authorities and required by specific environmental, climate or relevant energy legislation or policy of the Union, while ensuring that stakeholders are involved and promoting coordination with and mobilisation of at least one other Union, national or private funding source.

Technical Assistance Projects (TA)

Projects that support the development of capacity for participation in standard action projects, the preparation of strategic nature projects and strategic integrated projects, the preparation for accessing other Union financial instruments or other measures necessary for preparing the upscaling or replication of results from other projects funded by the LIFE programme, its predecessor programmes or other Union programmes, with a view to pursuing the LIFE programme objectives set out in Article 3; such projects can also include capacity-building related to the activities of Member States' authorities for effective participation in the LIFE programme.

Other Action Grants (OAG)

Actions needed for the purpose of achieving the general objective of the LIFE programme, including coordination and support actions aimed at capacity-building, at dissemination of information and of knowledge, and at awareness-raising to support the transition to renewable energy and increased energy efficiency.

Operating Grants (OG)

Grants that support the functioning of non-profit making entities which are involved in the development, implementation and enforcement of Union legislation and policy, and which are primarily active in the area of the environment or climate action, including energy transition, in line with the objectives of the LIFE programme.



Project proposals submitted under LIFE calls are evaluated and scored against selection and award criteria.


Support for applicants

Guidance on the application process, evaluation and grant signature, and working as an expert will be available on the Funding & Tender portal.

Please see our dedicated page on Support for Applicants.


Expert evaluators

The LIFE Programme appoints external experts to assist in the evaluation of grant applications, projects and tenders. 

If you have skills and experiences in the sustainable energy field and like to evaluate proposals submitted under the LIFE Clean Energy Transition sub-programme, please register in the European Commission’s database of independent experts

If you have skills and experiences in the fields of nature & biodiversity, circular economy and climate action and like to evaluate in the LIFE sub-programmes Nature and Biodiversity, Circular economy and quality of life, Climate change mitigation and adaptation, please register your interest with the external Framework Contractor.

Potential expert evaluators can register interest for any of the LIFE sub-programmes. 


Previous calls


LIFE close-to-market 


As well as supporting public authorities, NGOs, universities and institutes, the LIFE programme helps companies bring their green products, technologies, services and processes to the market. 

These so-called close-to-market projects launch innovative, demonstrative solutions that offer clear environmental and/or climate benefits. Examples could be in waste management, the circular economy, resource efficiency, water, air or climate change mitigation.

These projects also have a high level of technical and business readiness. This means that solutions could be implemented in close-to-market conditions (at industrial or commercial scale) during the course of the project or shortly after its completion.


Project examples

Find more examples of finalised close-to-market LIFE projects here


About the LIFE programme




Legal basis: Links to legal documents and background information.

Targeted consultation

History of LIFE: Learn about what LIFE is and how it will help to build environment and climate action.

Financial instruments

Capacity building

Contact: Contacts and national contact points

Call for experts

'Old' LIFE website


Manage your project


Find the answers to the most recurrent questions about project implementation.

Contract and financial aspects

Forms and guidelines for the contractual and financial management of your project.

Communication toolkit and GDPR rules

Communication and visibility requirements for EU funded projects, including data protection rules.

FAQ on COVID-19 impact on LIFE projects

Find the answers to the most recurrent questions about your project.


What is the maximum rate of EU co-financing under LIFE?

In general, both sub-programmes co-finance traditional LIFE projects with up to 55% of the total eligible project costs. An exception are nature and biodiversity projects under the environment sub-programme: They can receive up to 60%, or 75% in specific cases.

Preparatory and integrated projects are co-funded with up to 60%. Technical assistance projects can receive a contribution of up to 55%, which cannot exceed €100 000.

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