LIFE projects include a wide range of activities, such as the working out of product innovations, the development of nature sites or the sensitisation of those who are directly involved with a specific environment or climate problem.
Projects can be presented through the member states to the European Commission. They may take place on the territory of one member state, or it may concern a transnational collaboration. In each case they must have a clear European added value and use the available resources as efficiently as possible in the light of the environment and climate goal to be achieved.
There is a distinction between traditional projects and integrated projects.
Considering the great need for nature and climate financing, there is also attention in the LIFE programme for financial instruments.
Traditional projects and integrated projects
Traditional projects can be pilot, demonstration, best practice or information projects.
With integrated projects, specific plans or strategies are implemented on a large territorial scale, which moreover make an appeal to additional funds. Over the period of 7 years that the programme is running, every member state will be able to at least carry out three integrated projects.
Financial instruments make sure that it is easier to use private capital for realising projects with environment or climate objectives, by eliminating market restrictions.
The LIFE budget will develop financial instruments at pilot level. The intention is that later on the market itself will be able to develop these instruments.
Through the European Investment Bank, financial institutes of the member states get access to possibilities for e.g. issuing loans with interesting interest rates or with a warranty coverage for particular environment or climate projects.