Environmentalism
 

Please note that programme details for the 2021-2027 framework are forthcoming and the information below relates to programmes from the 2014-2020 framework; however, there may currently be open funding calls for this programme.

Click here for open calls / current deadlines.

 

LIFE supports 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 will contribute approximately €3.4 billion to the protection of the environment and climate. 
 

It covers projects related to: 
 

  • Nature and biodiversity 

  • Environmental and climate governance and information 

  • Resource efficiency 

  • Climate change mitigation and adaption 

  • Technology for climate change, environment, and low carbon. 
     

A call for proposals is published every year, meaning that every 12 months you can apply for LIFE funding by using the application packages that help you prepare your proposal. 

 

Want to find out more? 
 

More info about this programme is available on the Irish LIFE website.  You can also consult the national contact point, Beatrix Aigner at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. 

Current Funding

LIFE: Framework Partnership Agreements for non-profit making entities


The LIFE programme supports environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU.

This call aims to strengthen the participation of civil society in the EU policy dialogue, as well as to support implementation and enforcement of Union environmental and climate objectives, including clean energy transition, by the beneficiaries. Deadline: 28 September 2021, 17:00 Brussels time Application Link Overview

This is a call for proposals for EU framework partnerships for operating grants in the field of environment and/or climate action, including clean energy transition, under the Programme for Environment and Climate Action (LIFE).

Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs) under the LIFE Programme are long-term cooperation instruments that serve as umbrella for regular or recurrent operating grants to non-profit making entities which are involved in the development, implementation and enforcement of EU legislation and policy and which are primarily active in the field of environment or climate action, including clean energy transition, in line with the objectives of the LIFE Programme. They are a prerequisite for being able to sign annual Specific Operating Grant Agreements (SGAs), but do not create any legitimate expectations or entitlement to get them.

Framework Partnership Agreements that will be concluded following the 2021 Call for Proposals for LIFE Operating Grant Framework Partnership Agreements will cover the following three financial years of beneficiary organisations (i.e. FY 2022, FY 2023 and FY 2024). Framework Partnerships are always mono-beneficiary. Further details can be found in the call document.

Important notice!

In order to be considered for a LIFE operating grant, applicants must submit BOTH proposals by 28 September 2021:

  • One proposal under the LIFE-2021-NGO-OG-FPA (Framework partnership agreement)
  • One proposal under the LIFE-2021-NGO-OG-SGA (Specific grant agreement)

1. Background

What is the LIFE Programme?

The LIFE Programme is the EU Programme for Environment and Climate Action.

As such, it is one of the key contributors to the European Green Deal which aims to:

  • transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use and
  • protect, conserve and enhance the EU's natural capital, and protect the health and well-being of citizens from environment and climate related risks and impacts.

The LIFE Programme will contribute to these priorities through its four sub-programmes in particular by:

  • boosting and integrating the implementation of the EU’s policy objectives for halting and reversing loss of wildlife habitats and species across all sectors
  • supporting the transition to a circular economy and protecting and improving the quality of EU’s natural resources, including air, soil and water among others
  • supporting implementation of the 2030 energy and climate policy framework, the EU’s climate neutrality objective by 2050, and the new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change and
  • building capacity, stimulating investments and supporting implementation of policies focused on energy efficiency and small-scale renewables.

The LIFE Programme is structured in two fields and four sub-programmes (described in more detail below):

Environment:

- sub-programme Nature and Biodiversity

- sub-programme Circular Economy and Quality of Life

Climate Action:

- sub-programme Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

- sub-programme Clean Energy Transition

Nature and Biodiversity

The specific objectives of the sub-programme ‘Nature and Biodiversity’ are the following:

  • to develop, demonstrate, promote and stimulate scale up of innovative techniques, methods and approaches (including nature-based solutions and ecosystem approach) for reaching the objectives of the EU legislation and policy on nature and biodiversity, and to contribute to the knowledge base and to the application of best practices, including through the support of the Natura 2000
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of EU legislation and policy on nature and biodiversity, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society, also taking into due consideration the possible contributions provided by citizen science
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful solutions/approaches for implementing EU legislation and policy on nature and biodiversity, by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

Circular Economy and Quality of Life

The specific objectives of the sub-programme ‘Circular Economy and Quality of Life’ are:

  • to develop, demonstrate and promote innovative techniques, methods and approaches for reaching the objectives of the EU legislation and policy on environment, and to contribute to the knowledge base and, where relevant, to the application of best practices
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the EU legislation and policy on environment, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful technical and policy-related solutions for implementing the EU legislation and policy on environment, by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

This 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.

It will contribute to the EU priorities by:

  • reducing resource consumption and facilitating the transition toward a sustainable, circular, toxic-free, energy-efficient and climate-resilient economy
  • developing circular systems, in line with the new Circular Economy Action Plan and reflecting its focus on sustainable products, material and energy intensive sectors and circular business models for value retention
  • bringing down waste generation in line with the Waste Framework Directive 2019/1004Basel Convention54 and the reduction of hazardous waste in view of the EU’s commitment under the .
  • improving waste management with respect to collection and storage of waste, recovery options and end-of-life disposal, including in islands where waste management has to face specific challenges
  • reducing emissions of pollutants to air and ensuring clean air for EU citizens in line with the EU legislation and the objectives of the Zero Pollution Action Plan
  • achieving and maintaining a good status of the EU water bodies
  • ensuring clean surface water and ground-water, in sufficient quantities for human and other species, including by increasing efficiency of water use
  • reducing production, use and emissions of hazardous chemicals as well as reducing the exposure of humans and the environment to those chemicals
  • promoting the development, commercialisation and uptake of safe and sustainable-by-design substances, materials and products
  • diminishing exposure to harmful noise levels
  • protecting the quality of EU soil, preventing soil degradation through sustainable practices of soil and land management, remediating from soil pollution and enhancing the capacity to improve water quality through reduced nitrate leakage and to reduce emissions through carbon storage.

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

The specific objectives of the sub-programme ‘Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation’ are:

  • to develop, demonstrate and promote innovative techniques, methods and approaches for reaching the objectives of the EU legislation and policy on climate action and to contribute to the knowledge base and to the application of best practice
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the EU legislation and policy on climate action, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful technical and policy-related solutions for implementing the EU legislation and policy on climate action by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

This sub-programme will contribute to the transformation of the EU into a climate-neutral and -resilient society, by supporting the implementation of the EU's climate policy and preparing the EU for the climate action challenges in the coming years and decades.

Clean Energy Transition

The specific objectives of the sub-programme ‘Clean Energy Transition’ are the following:

  • to develop, demonstrate and promote innovative techniques, methods and approaches for reaching the objectives of the EU legislation and policy on the transition to sustainable renewable energy and increased energy efficiency, and to contribute to the knowledge base and to the application of best practice
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the EU legislation and policy on the transition to sustainable renewable energy or increased energy efficiency, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful technical and policy-related solutions for implementing the EU legislation on the transition to renewable energy or increased energy efficiency by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

This sub-programme aims 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, of high EU added-value, 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.

The sub-programme will contribute to the implementation of the energy-related actions of the Green Deal, including the ‘Renovation wave’ initiative for the building sector, and will give due consideration to territories not connected to the European grids such as the EU outermost regions. It will contribute to the Just Transition objectives by accompanying the territories and the groups of citizens negatively affected by the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, by building capacity of actors and fostering clean energy investments, mainly in energy efficiency and locally available, sustainable, renewable energy sources. Activities related to biofuels will not be included.

2. Type of action — Objectives — Themes and priorities — Activities that can be funded — Expected impact

Type of action

This call for proposals concerns LIFE Framework Partnership Agreements for
Operating Grant (FPA OG).

Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs) under the LIFE Programme are long - term cooperation instruments that serve as umbrella for regular or recurrent grants to non-profit making entities which are involved in the development, implementation and enforcement of EU legislation and policy and which are primarily active in the field of environment or climate action, including clean energy transition, in line with the objectives of the LIFE Programme. They are a prerequisite for being able to sign annual Specific Operating Grant Agreements (SGAs), but do not create any legitimate expectations or entitlement to get them.

Framework Partnership Agreements that will be concluded following the 2021 Call for
Proposals for LIFE Framework Partnership Agreements for Operating Grant will cover
the following three financial years of beneficiary organisations (i.e. FY 2022, FY 2023
and FY 2024).

Specific Operating Grant Agreements (SGAs) will be awarded on an annual basis following an invitation to submit a proposal addressed to the framework partners.
SGA OG can only be signed if an FPA has been signed, and bef ore the end dat e of
that FPA.

In 2021, due to time constrains, the calls for LIFE Framework Partnership
Agreements and the call for LIFE Specific Operating Grant Agreements addressed t o
framework partners are launched in parallel. Applicants must first complete the
Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) application, and then use the FPA
application reference number in their Specific Operating Grant Agreement application
form.

For further information on the call for LIFE Specific Operating Grant Agreements
please consult call LIFE-2021-NGO-OG-SGA via the Funding & Tenders Portal
Electronic Submission System (accessible via the Topic page in the Search Funding &
Tenders section).


Objectives


The LIFE Framework Partnership Agreements with non-profit making entities aim to
strengthen the participation of civil society in the EU polic y dialogue, as well as to
support implementation and enforcement of Union environmental and climate
objectives by the beneficiaries. The present call for proposals targets framework
partnerships aimed at achieving the objectives of the Environment, Nat ure, Climat e
and Clean Energy Transition LIFE sub-programme

Scope — Activities that can be funded

The Framework Partnership Agreements will set out the framework conditions governing grants to partners carrying out activities, on the basis of a 3-year outline action plan and agreed general objectives. This first-level agreement does not however constitute an obligation for the Commission to conclude a Specific Grant Agreement for an annual operating grant.

Operating grants provide general financial support to the successful organisations. They do not support a specific project (like action grants), but the annual operating budget (or part of it) of the organisation. Operating grants follow the same rules for the grant agreements as action grants, but do not differentiate between direct and indirect costs. Operating grants are always mono-beneficiary grants supporting the annual activities of an organisation. Receiving an operating grant may have an impact on the possibility to receive the indirect costs flat-rate in an EU action grant (see EU Grants AGA — Annotated Grant Agreement, art 6.2.E).

Expected impact

Applicants are expected to explain and define how they will achieve the expected contributions as described under Award criteria 1 to 4 (see section 9).

All LIFE projects will have to report on their expected outputs and impacts taking into account the LIFE Key Performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs will contribute to evaluating the impact of the LIFE project on an environmental but also socio-economic level (e.g. via actions impacting the local economy and population). Please review the indicators in Part C of the eGrant application and complete them.

Funding rate

For specific operating grants that will be financed in the context of the framework partnership agreements, the amount of the grant will be defined by applying a maximum co-financing rate of 70% to the eligible costs. The maximum operating grant amount per financial year will be EUR 700 000.

Flat rate

The amounts of eligible costs of the operating grant that will be financed in the context of the framework partnership agreements will be calculated using a flat-rate of 50% over personnel costs, in order to simplify the application, implementation and reporting processes. The only actual costs that applicants must declare are personnel costs. The flat-rate will cover all other costs that will be incurred by the beneficiary:

• Travel and subsistence

• Equipment and depreciation

• Subcontracting

• Rental

• Other direct costs

3. Available budget

The total budget earmarked for calls for operating grants under this framework partnership call is EUR 37,110,000, i.e. EUR 12,370,000 per year.

Depending on the number and quality of proposals, we expect to sign between 30 and 40 framework partnerships.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible, the applicants must:

  • be legal entities (private bodies)
  • be non-governmental organisations which are
    • non-profit making entities
    • established (legally registered) in one of the eligible countries, i.e:
      • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
      • non-EU countries: listed EEA countries and countries associated to the LIFE Programme (participating countries) or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature.
    • independent, in particular from government, other public authorities, political parties and commercial interests
    • primarily active in the areas of environment or climate action (including clean energy transition) and have an environmental/climate objective which is aimed at:
      • the public good and/or
      • sustainable development and/or
      • the development, implementation and enforcement of EU environmental and/or climate policy and legislation
      • active at EU level with a structure and activities covering at least three EU Member States

Applicants will have to demonstrate both a structure and activities covering at least three European Union Member States. To this end, partnerships, networks and memberships are considered if they are formally established as legal entities.

Partnerships, networks and memberships must be represented by a management board or any other administrative forum that is mandated by its members to represent them at EU level and is responsible for the activities of the network. So-called "loose co-operations" or temporary partnerships are not eligible under this call.

Memberships comprise exclusively legal entities, i.e. not natural persons. All members must be listed in the application. Nevertheless, members are not eligible for funding. Only the applicant non-profit entity, if selected, will become the single beneficiary of the grant and can claim costs. Entities affiliated to the applicant are not eligible to receive funding under this Call for proposals.

Statutes and/or activity reports of memberships, partnerships or networks will serve as evidence for the structure and activities covering at least three EU countries.

Beneficiaries must register in the Participant Register — before submitting the proposal — and will have to be validated by the Central Validation Service (REA Validation). For the validation, they will be requested to upload documents showing legal status and origin.

Geographic location (target countries)

Proposals must relate to activities taking place in EU countries.

Activities outside the EU must be necessary to achieve EU environmental and climate objectives and ensure the effectiveness of interventions carried out within the EU (e.g. actions aimed at the conservation of migratory birds in wintering areas, actions implemented on a trans boundary river, or actions aimed to address environmental problems that cannot be solved successfully or efficiently unless actions are carried out also in non-EU countries).

Application Details

See full details in the official call document.

All proposals must be submitted directly online via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System.




LIFE: Specific Grant Agreements in support of non-profit organisations primarily active in the fields of environment and/or climate action, including the clean energy transition


The LIFE programme supports environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU.

This call aims to strengthen the participation of civil society in the EU policy dialogue, as well as to support implementation and enforcement of Union environmental and climate objectives, including the clean energy transition, by the beneficiaries. Deadline: 28 September 2021, 17:00 Brussels time Application Link Overview

This call for proposals concerns LIFE Specific Operating Grant Agreements (SGA OG) . LIFE Specific Operating Grant Agreements will only be concluded with organisations that have successfully signed a LIFE 2021 Operating Grant Framework Partnership Agreements (FPA OG).

Operating grants provide general financial support to the successful organisations. They do not support a specific project (like action grants), but the annual operating budget (or part of it) of the organisation. Operating grants follow the same rules for the grant agreements as action grants, but do not differentiate between direct and indirect costs. Operating grants are always mono-beneficiary grants supporting the annual activities of an organisation. Further details can be found in the call document. Applicants to the LIFE-2021-NGO-OG-SGA call for proposals MUST ALSO APPLY to the LIFE-2021-NGO-OG-FPA call for proposals.

Important notice!

In order to be considered for a LIFE operating grant, applicants must submit BOTH proposals by 28 September 2021:

  • One proposal under the LIFE-2021-NGO-OG-FPA (Framework partnership agreement)

  • One proposal under the LIFE-2021-NGO-OG-SGA (Specific grant agreement)

1. Background

What is the LIFE Programme?

The LIFE Programme is the EU Programme for Environment and Climate Action.

As such, it is one of the key contributors to the European Green Deal which aims to:

  • transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use and
  • protect, conserve and enhance the EU's natural capital, and protect the health and well-being of citizens from environment and climate related risks and impacts.

The LIFE Programme will contribute to these priorities through its four sub-programmes in particular by:

  • boosting and integrating the implementation of the EU’s policy objectives for halting and reversing loss of wildlife habitats and species across all sectors
  • supporting the transition to a circular economy and protecting and improving the quality of EU’s natural resources, including air, soil and water among others
  • supporting implementation of the 2030 energy and climate policy framework, the EU’s climate neutrality objective by 2050, and the new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change and
  • building capacity, stimulating investments and supporting implementation of policies focused on energy efficiency and small-scale renewables.

The LIFE Programme is structured in two fields and four sub-programmes (described in more detail below):

Environment:

- sub-programme Nature and Biodiversity

- sub-programme Circular Economy and Quality of Life

Climate Action:

- sub-programme Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

- sub-programme Clean Energy Transition

Nature and Biodiversity

The specific objectives of the sub-programme ‘Nature and Biodiversity’ are the following:

  • to develop, demonstrate, promote and stimulate scale up of innovative techniques, methods and approaches (including nature-based solutions and ecosystem approach) for reaching the objectives of the EU legislation and policy on nature and biodiversity, and to contribute to the knowledge base and to the application of best practices, including through the support of the Natura 2000
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of EU legislation and policy on nature and biodiversity, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society, also taking into due consideration the possible contributions provided by citizen science
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful solutions/approaches for implementing EU legislation and policy on nature and biodiversity, by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

Circular Economy and Quality of Life

The specific objectives of the sub-programme ‘Circular Economy and Quality of Life’ are:

  • to develop, demonstrate and promote innovative techniques, methods and approaches for reaching the objectives of the EU legislation and policy on environment, and to contribute to the knowledge base and, where relevant, to the application of best practices
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the EU legislation and policy on environment, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful technical and policy-related solutions for implementing the EU legislation and policy on environment, by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

This 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.

It will contribute to the EU priorities by:

  • reducing resource consumption and facilitating the transition toward a sustainable, circular, toxic-free, energy-efficient and climate-resilient economy
  • developing circular systems, in line with the new Circular Economy Action Plan and reflecting its focus on sustainable products, material and energy intensive sectors and circular business models for value retention
  • bringing down waste generation in line with the Waste Framework Directive 2019/1004Basel Convention54 and the reduction of hazardous waste in view of the EU’s commitment under the .
  • improving waste management with respect to collection and storage of waste, recovery options and end-of-life disposal, including in islands where waste management has to face specific challenges
  • reducing emissions of pollutants to air and ensuring clean air for EU citizens in line with the EU legislation and the objectives of the Zero Pollution Action Plan
  • achieving and maintaining a good status of the EU water bodies
  • ensuring clean surface water and ground-water, in sufficient quantities for human and other species, including by increasing efficiency of water use
  • reducing production, use and emissions of hazardous chemicals as well as reducing the exposure of humans and the environment to those chemicals
  • promoting the development, commercialisation and uptake of safe and sustainable-by-design substances, materials and products
  • diminishing exposure to harmful noise levels
  • protecting the quality of EU soil, preventing soil degradation through sustainable practices of soil and land management, remediating from soil pollution and enhancing the capacity to improve water quality through reduced nitrate leakage and to reduce emissions through carbon storage.

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

The specific objectives of the sub-programme ‘Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation’ are:

  • to develop, demonstrate and promote innovative techniques, methods and approaches for reaching the objectives of the EU legislation and policy on climate action and to contribute to the knowledge base and to the application of best practice
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the EU legislation and policy on climate action, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful technical and policy-related solutions for implementing the EU legislation and policy on climate action by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

This sub-programme will contribute to the transformation of the EU into a climate-neutral and -resilient society, by supporting the implementation of the EU's climate policy and preparing the EU for the climate action challenges in the coming years and decades.

Clean Energy Transition

The specific objectives of the sub-programme ‘Clean Energy Transition’ are the following:

  • to develop, demonstrate and promote innovative techniques, methods and approaches for reaching the objectives of the EU legislation and policy on the transition to sustainable renewable energy and increased energy efficiency, and to contribute to the knowledge base and to the application of best practice
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the EU legislation and policy on the transition to sustainable renewable energy or increased energy efficiency, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful technical and policy-related solutions for implementing the EU legislation on the transition to renewable energy or increased energy efficiency by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

This sub-programme aims 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, of high EU added-value, 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.

The sub-programme will contribute to the implementation of the energy-related actions of the Green Deal, including the ‘Renovation wave’ initiative for the building sector, and will give due consideration to territories not connected to the European grids such as the EU outermost regions. It will contribute to the Just Transition objectives by accompanying the territories and the groups of citizens negatively affected by the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, by building capacity of actors and fostering clean energy investments, mainly in energy efficiency and locally available, sustainable, renewable energy sources. Activities related to biofuels will not be included.

2. Type of action — Objectives — Themes and priorities — Activities that can be funded — Expected impact

Type of action

This call for proposals concerns LIFE Specific Operating Grant Agreements (SGA OG). LIFE Specific Operating Grant Agreements will be concluded with organisations that have successfully signed a LIFE 2021 Operating Grant Framework Partnership Agreements (FPA OG).

Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs) under the LIFE Programme are long-term cooperation instruments that serve as umbrella for regular or recurrent grants to non-profit making entities which are involved in the development, implementation and enforcement of EU legislation and policy and which are primarily active in the field of environment or climate action, including energy transition, in line with the objectives of the LIFE Programme. They are a prerequisite for being able to sign annual Specific Operating Grant Agreements (SGAs), but do not create any legitimate expectations or entitlement to get them.

Framework Partnership Agreements that will be concluded following the 2021 Call for Proposals for LIFE Operating Grant Framework Partnership Agreements will cover the following three financial years of beneficiary organisations (i.e. FY 2022, FY 2023 and FY 2024).

Specific Operating Grant Agreements (SGAs) will be awarded on an annual basis following a call or invitation to submit a proposal addressed to the framework partners. SGA OG can only be signed if an FPA has been signed, and before the end date of that FPA.

In 2021, due to time constrains, the calls for LIFE Operating Grant Framework Partnership Agreements and the call for LIFE Specific Operating Grant Agreements addressed to framework partners are launched in parallel. Applicants must first complete the Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) application, and then use the FPA application reference number in their Specific Operating Grant Agreement application form.

For further information on the call for 2021 Call for Proposals for LIFE Framework Partnership Agreements please consult call LIFE-2021-NGO-OG-FPA via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System (accessible via the Topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section).

Objectives

The LIFE operating grants for non-profit making entities aim to strengthen the participation of civil society in the EU policy dialogue, as well as to support implementation and enforcement of Union environmental and climate objectives by the beneficiaries. The present call for proposals targets operating grants aimed at achieving the objectives of the Environment, Nature, Climate and Clean Energy Transition LIFE sub-programmes.

Scope — Activities that can be funded

Operating grants provide general financial support to the successful organisations. They do not support a specific project (like action grants), but the annual operating budget (or part of it) of the organisation. Operating grants follow the same rules for the grant agreements as action grants, but do not differentiate between direct and indirect costs. Operating grants are always mono-beneficiary grants supporting the annual activities of an organisation. Receiving an operating grant may have an impact on the possibility to receive the indirect costs flat-rate in an EU action grant (see EU Grants AGA — Annotated Grant Agreement, art 6.2.E).

Expected impact

Applicants are expected to explain and define how they will achieve the expected contributions as described in their Framework Partnership Agreement during FY 2022.

All LIFE projects will have to report on their expected outputs and impacts taking into account the LIFE Key Performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs will contribute to evaluating the impact of the LIFE project on an environmental but also socio-economic level (e.g. via actions impacting the local economy and population). Please review the indicators in Part C of the eGrant application and complete them.

Funding rate

The EU contribution to the specific operating grant will be defined by applying a maximum co-financing rate of 70% to the total eligible costs. The maximum EU contribution to the operating grant amount per financial year will be EUR 700 000.

Total eligible costs and flat rate

The amount of total eligible costs will be calculated based on actual personnel costs, adding a flat-rate of 50% over those actual costs, in order to simplify the application, implementation and reporting processes. The only actual costs that applicants must declare are personnel costs. The flat-rate of 50% personnel costs will cover all other costs that will be incurred by the beneficiary:

  • Travel and subsistence
  • Equipment and depreciation
  • Subcontracting
  • Rental
  • Other direct costs

3. Available budget

The total budget earmarked for grants under this call is EUR 12,370,000.

Depending on the number and quality of proposals, we expect to sign between 30 and 40 specific grant agreements.

Eligibility

Eligible participants

Eligibility of applicants is assessed during the FPA evaluation (Call LIFE-2021-NGO-OG-FPA).

Eligible activities

Eligible activities are the ones set out in section 2 above.

Proposals must comply with EU policy interests and priorities (such as environment, social, security, industrial and trade policy, etc.).

Financial support to third parties is not allowed.

Work programmes should be consistent with the action plan submitted for the framework partnership. Only applications that have first been awarded a framework partnership will be considered eligible.

Geographic location (target countries)

Proposals must relate to activities taking place in EU countries.

Activities outside the EU must be necessary to achieve EU environmental and climate objectives and ensure the effectiveness of interventions carried out within the EU (e.g. actions aimed at the conservation of migratory birds in wintering areas, actions implemented on a trans boundary river, or actions aimed to address environmental problems that cannot be solved successfully or efficiently unless actions are carried out also in non-EU countries).

Application Details

See full details in the official call document.

All proposals must be submitted directly online via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System.




LIFE: Developing support mechanisms for energy communities and other citizen-led initiatives in the field of sustainable energy


The LIFE programme supports environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU.

This call aims to support actions that foster the collaboration between local and regional authorities and energy communities and/or actions that develop integrated services to facilitate the emergence and growth of community energy projects. Deadline: 12 January 2022, 17:00 Brussels time Application Link Overview

Designing adequate public interventions at the local level is key but there is no one-size-fits-all solution to trigger the creation of energy communities locally. The level of public participation and the type of actions required vary significantly depending on the specific context of each city and town. Building on initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors, there is also a need to strengthen the technical and financial capacities of local actors to support citizen-led initiatives in the field of energy (particularly in Member States with low levels of community energy activity).

This topic will support actions covering at least ONE of the scopes below:

  • Scope A: Local authorities collaborating with citizen-led-initiatives. Under this scope, proposals should foster the collaboration between local and regional authorities (including energy agencies) and energy communities.

  • Scope B: Developing integrated services to support community energy.Under this scope, proposals should support actions that improve market conditions and develop integrated services aimed at reducing complexity, simplifying decision making and stimulating the creation of community energy projects. These services may be implemented by public or private actors in close coordination with local and/or regional authorities in targeted territories. The integrated services designed should lead to local community energy investment pipelines.

Activities that can be funded

Proposals for Scope A should include at least 3 of the activities below:

  • Participation in and/or set up of municipal energy initiatives and energy communities including diverse and hybrid forms of collective ownership with participation from municipal authorities and citizens aimed at supporting the achievement of local and regional energy policy objectives.
  • Support to the emergence of citizen energy initiatives that empower local actors to collectively address energy transition targets through use of public resources, funds and capacity. The role of local and regional authorities could include helping community projects access citizen finance and bank loans (e.g. through guarantees, seed funding for revolving funds, technical support for the early stages of project development) and facilitating procurement of locally generated renewable energy from community energy projects.
  • Creation of a supportive local policy framework for the development of community energy projects (e.g. through community participation or investment quotas, more streamlined and simplified environmental permit procedures) and facilitation of a dialogue among different actors involved in community projects (e.g. community members, relevant economic players, national regulators, the local authority and other societal, environmental or energy actors in the area).
  • Training and capacity building on community energy development (for local and regional authority officials, local communities and other relevant local actors) and promotion of citizen participation in energy communities.
Note: These activities should make use of existing initiatives, networks and platforms as relevant (e.g. Covenant of Mayors, Smart Cities Marketplace).

Proposals for Scope B can include the following activities:

  • Capacity building and facilitating access of local energy communities and cooperatives to information and guidance about setting up, financing and operating community projects (e.g. licencing, public procurement of community energy, business models, legal aspects).
  • Connecting different actors in the value chain (e.g. technology providers, financiers, public actors in charge of licensing, aggregators).
  • Aggregation of small sustainable energy projects including (where relevant) support for energy commercialisation and participation in flexibility markets.
  • Development of financial tools to facilitate the emergence of community energy projects and their access to citizen finance and bank loans (e.g. through guarantees, seed funding for revolving funds, technical support for the early stages of project development).

Eligibility

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
    • non-EU countries: listed EEA countries and countries associated to the LIFE Programme (participating countries) or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature

Other entities may participate in other consortium roles, such as associated partners, subcontractors, third parties giving in-kind contributions, etc.

Consortium Composition

Proposals must be submitted by at least 3 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from 3 different eligible countries.

Budget

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 1.75 million would allow the specific objectives to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. The costs will be reimbursed at a funding rate of 95%.

Application Details

See full details in the official call document.

All proposals must be submitted directly online via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System.