In 2022 the LIFE programme (French: L’Instrument Financier pour l’Environnement) celebrates its 30th year as the European Union’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value.

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EU Budget

€5.4 billion for the 2021-2027 period.


For the 2021-2027 programming period the structure of the LIFE programme has been expanded. The two previous categories, “Environment” and “Climate Action”, are replaced by 4 distinct sub-programmes:

  • Nature and Biodiversity: This sub-programme focuses on the protection and restoration of Europe’s nature, and halting and reversing biodiversity loss. It will continue to fund nature conservation projects and 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, the Invasive Alien Species Regulation and which support achieving the objectives of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, which is part of the EU Green Deal.
  • Circular Economy and Quality of Life: LIFE projects under this sub-programme will develop technologies and solutions to enhance the circular economy. Projects include the recovery of resources from waste, and others on water, air, noise, soil and chemical management as well as environmental governance. These support the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan.
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation: Cutting greenhouse gas emissions, increasing climate change resilience and boosting awareness in the climate change mitigation and adaptation areas will remain top priorities under this sub-programme.
  • Clean energy transition: The CET sub-programme will aim at facilitating the transition toward an energy-efficient, renewable energy-based, climate-neutral and -resilient economy by funding coordination and support actions across Europe. These actions aim at breaking market barriers that hamper the socio-economic transition to sustainable energy, typically engaging multiple small and medium-size stakeholders, multiple actors including local and regional public authorities and non-profit organisations and involving consumers.


Ciarán O’Sullivan, National Contact Point, Environment and Climate Research and Advisory Unit.

Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications


Tel: +353 (0) 87 227 4704

Life programme in Ireland