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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article25 August 2021

LIFE programme priority topics: 2021 – 2024

The LIFE programme has published a list of priority topics for the 2021 – 2024 period.

LIFE Call 2021 visual

Applicants to the LIFE Call for proposals should aim to address one or more of these priority topics.

The topics fall under LIFE’s four new sub-programmes: nature and biodiversity, circular economy and quality of life, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and clean energy transition. 

See a summary of the topics, the kinds of projects we are looking for, and some LIFE project examples below.

Don’t forget that we are holding a LIFE Call for proposals Q&A session on 8 & 9 September.

Sub-programme: nature and biodiversity

There are two priorities under the nature and biodiversity sub-programme: 

  1. Supporting the objectives set out in the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and the Invasive Alien Species Regulation.
  2. Contributing to the targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 for a Trans-European Nature Network and the EU Restoration Plan.

Also, there are two areas of intervention:

  1. Space for nature: area-based conservation and restoration measures.
  2. Safeguarding our species: measures targeting specific species.

Project examples:

  • GrassLIFE - developing and improving the conservation status of five EU priority grasslands.
  • Egyptian Vulture new LIFE - stabilising the Balkan population of the Egyptian vulture in Bulgaria and Greece.
  • LIFE WOLFALPS EU - improving wolf-human coexistence in the Alpine wolf population.
  • Life Terras do Priolo - restoring 26 hectares of laurel forest habitat in Portugal and creating a protection ring against the entry of invasive flora.
  • LIFE URBANBEES - enhancing the biodiversity of wild bees in Europe’s urban habitats.
  • LIFE14 Roseate tern – improving prospects for this species in the UK and Ireland.

Sub-programme: circular economy and quality of life

There are seven priorities under the circular economy and quality of life sub-programme:

  1. Recovery of resources from waste – innovative solutions for value-added recycled materials, components, or products.
  2. Circular economy and the environment – supporting value chains set out in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.
  3. Air – helping to implement air quality legislation and addressing urban, industrial, and rural environmental problems.
  4. Water – improving water quality and quantity as well as marine and coastal water management. Innovative technologies and tools for drinking water and urban wastewater treatment systems.
  5. Soil - protecting the quality of EU’s soil.
  6. Noise – reducing noise inside densely populated urban areas.
  7. Chemicals – lessening the impact of hazardous substances on the environment or human health.
  8. Environmental governance - supporting public administrations’ decision-making and voluntary approaches, assuring environmental compliance and access to justice, promoting behavioural change and awareness-raising.

Project examples:

  • Soil4Life - raising awareness of soil’s importance among farmers, professionals and the public in Italy, France and Croatia.
  • LIFE DEBAG - reducing marine litter in Greece through awareness-raising and campaigning.
  • LIFE COGENERATION PL - developing a technology that can produce electricity and heat from waste and sewage sludge in Poland.
  • LIFE-IP MAŁOPOLSKA - working to improve air quality in Poland’s Małopolska province.
  • LIFE IBATHWATER - reducing the impact of discharged untreated rainwater on the environment in Berlin and Barcelona.
  • LIFE Waste2Protein - using organic residues from supermarkets as a resource to produce sustainable and location-independent insect protein from black soldier flies.

Sub-programme: climate mitigation and adaptation

There are three priorities under the climate change mitigation and adaption sub-programme:

  1. Climate change mitigation - reducing fluorinated greenhouse gases, enhancing the functioning of the Emissions Trading System, managing land and sea better to reduce emissions, enhancing natural carbon sinks.
  2. Climate change adaptation - implementing adaptation plans, developing state of the art adaptation tools, climate-proofing, preparing cities and regions for climate change and extreme weather events.
  3. Climate governance and information - supporting the European Climate Pact, encouraging behavioural change, raising awareness, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, analysing climate policy.

Project examples:

  • LIFE Carbon Dairy – promoting a new approach to milk production to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  • LIFE@Urban Roofs - stimulating private investment in climate adaptation.
  • SOLID LIFE - producing low-emission cement and concrete products on an industrial scale.
  • Hg-rid-LIFE - reducing poisonous mercury emissions from Sweden’s dental clinics.
  • LIFE ADAPT2CLIMA - helping Mediterranean farmers adapt to climate change.
  • LIFE FRANCA - making the shift from flood response to flood prevention in the Italian Alps.

Sub-programme: clean energy transition

There are five priorities under the clean energy transition sub-programme:

  1. Building a national, regional and local policy framework that supports the clean energy transition.
  2. Accelerating technology roll-out, digitalisation, new services and business models as well as improving skills.
  3. Attracting private finance for sustainable energy projects.
  4. Supporting local and regional investment projects.
  5. Involving and empowering citizens in the clean energy transition.

Project examples from previous H2020 Energy Efficiency programme:

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