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LIFE Climate Actions (Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Governance and Information) - Traditional Projects
Deadline: 12 Sep 2018   CALL EXPIRED

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1.1 What is LIFE?

LIFE is the European Programme for the Environment and Climate Action, for the period from 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2020. The legal basis for LIFE is Regulation (EU) No 1293/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 20131 (hereinafter "the LIFE Regulation").

The LIFE Programme is structured in two sub-programmes: the sub-programme for environment and the sub-programme for climate action.

The sub-programme for environment covers three priority areas:

  •   LIFE Environment and Resource Efficiency

  •   LIFE Nature and Biodiversity

  •   LIFE Environmental Governance and Information

The thematic priorities for each priority area are further described in Annex III to the LIFE Regulation.

The sub-programme for climate action covers three priority areas:

  •   LIFE Climate Change Mitigation

  •   LIFE Climate Change Adaptation

  •   LIFE Climate Governance and Information

The overall financial envelope for the implementation of the LIFE Programme is EUR 3.457 Billion, 75% of which is allocated to the sub-programme for environment (EUR 2,592,491,250).

According to Article 17(4) of the LIFE Regulation, at least 81% of the total budget shall be allocated to projects supported by way of action grants or, where appropriate, financial instruments. The second LIFE Multiannual Work Programme covering the period 2018-2020 foresees a budget of EUR 1,243.81 Million for the sub-programme for environment2.

During the period 2014-2020, the Contracting Authority will launch one call for LIFE project proposals per year.

1.2 "Traditional" Projects

Article 2 of the LIFE Regulation defines the various types of projects which may be supported by the LIFE 2014-2020 programme. While some of the project types (eg 'integrated projects' and 'capacity building projects') are new to LIFE, other project types are similar to those already supported by LIFE+ and previous LIFE programmes.

These "traditional" types of projects are:

  •   "pilot projects" means projects that apply a technique or method that has not been applied or tested before, or elsewhere, and that offer potential environmental or climate advantages compared to current best practice and that can subsequently be applied on a larger scale to similar situations;

  •   “demonstration projects” means projects that put into practice, test, evaluate and disseminate actions, methodologies or approaches that are new or unknown in the specific context of the project, such as the geographical, ecological, socio-economic context, and that could be applied elsewhere in similar circumstances;

  •   “best practice projects” means projects that apply appropriate, cost-effective, state-of- the-art techniques, methods and approaches taking into account the specific context of the project;

  •   "information, awareness and dissemination projects" means projects aimed at supporting communication, dissemination of information and awareness raising in the fields of the sub-programmes for Environment and Climate Action.

In order for a project to be considered pilot/demonstrative, the overall character of its core actions must be pilot/demonstrative. Although some best practice actions might be included in the project proposal, the overall approach must clearly have a pilot/demonstrative character and this should be justified in detail in the proposal.

The following table shows which type of project may be submitted to which priority area:

 

Sub-Programme
Priority Area
Types of Traditional Projects Eligible

 

Environment
Environment and Resource Efficiency
Demonstration and pilot projects

Environment
Nature and Biodiversity
Best practice, demonstration, and pilot projects

Environment
Environmental Governance and Information
Information, awareness and dissemination projects

Climate Action
Climate Change Mitigation
Best practice, demonstration, and pilot projects

Climate Action
Climate Change Adaptation
Best practice, demonstration, and pilot projects

Climate Action
Climate Governance and Information
Information, awareness and dissemination projects

 

The amount available for co-financing action grants for all types of "traditional" projects under the Environment sub-programme is indicatively set at EUR 217 000 000

Projects financed by the LIFE Programme under one priority area shall avoid undermining environmental or climate objectives in another priority area and, where possible, promote synergies between different objectives as well as the use of green procurement.

1.3 Role of project topics

The LIFE multiannual work programme for 2018-2020 defines project topics implementing the thematic priorities for the sub-programme for environment listed in Annex III to the LIFE Regulation for pilot, demonstration, best practice and information, awareness and dissemination projects ("traditional" projects). They reflect the priorities on which projects should focus during the relevant period. Eligible proposals that reach or pass the minimum pass scores (see section 5.1.1 of the LIFE multiannual work programme for 2018-2020) and target a relevant project topic will be given priority over projects of comparable quality that do not fall under one of the project topics. See also the Guide for the evaluation of LIFE project proposals 2018 for further details on scoring of proposals.

1.4 How, where and when to submit a proposal?

Project submission procedure will be organised in two stages:

  Stage 1: Concept note

  Stage 2: Full proposal

 

Stage 1: Concept Note

Concept notes should be submitted through the online tool eProposal, available via the LIFE web page. The application tool contains all administrative (A), technical (B) and financial (F) forms required to submit a Concept Note.

For complete details regarding the application forms relevant at Stage 1, please refer to section 3 of this document. For complete details regarding the use of the eProposal tool, please refer to Annex 3 of this document.

Applicants must submit their concept notes to the Contracting Authority via eProposal before

12/06/2018, 16:00 Brussels local time.

The concept note can be modified, validated and (re)submitted as many times as needed until 12/06/2018, 16:00 Brussels local time. You are recommended to submit your draft(s) regularly during the entire submission period to avoid last minutes issues with your internet connection of other IT related failures. Each subsequent submission overwrites the previously submitted version (earlier versions are not archived and are therefore not available anymore).

 

Stage 2: Full proposal

The applicants with the best ranked concept notes will be invited (in 10/2018) to submit a full proposal using the web tool eProposal available via the LIFE web page.

The application tool contains all administrative (A), technical (B and C) and financial (F) forms required, and functionalities to attach relevant documents (maps, photos, diagrams, graphs, mandatory administrative and financial annexes). For complete details regarding the application forms, please refer to section 3 of this document. For complete details regarding the use of the eProposal tool, please refer to Annex 3 of this document.

 

Applicants invited to submit their full proposals to the Contracting Authority via eProposal will have to do it by January (submission deadline will be confirmed with Stage 2 invitation letter).

The proposal can be modified, validated and (re)submitted as many times as needed until the Stage 2 submission deadline. You are recommended to submit your draft(s) regularly during the entire submission period to avoid last minutes issues with your internet connection of other IT related failures. Each subsequent submission overwrites the previously submitted version (earlier versions are not archived and are therefore not available anymore).

For the proposals covered by these guidelines the Contracting Authority is the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME).

When preparing the proposal, the applicants may wish to consult the relevant LIFE National Contact Point; the complete list of the names and contact addresses of the national/regional authorities for LIFE in the Member States can be found on the LIFE website at

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/contact/nationalcontact/index.htm

 

1.5 How will LIFE projects be selected?

The technical methodology for the project selection procedure and the selection and award criteria are described in section 5 of the LIFE multiannual work programme for 2018-2020. For a detailed description of how this procedure will be implemented, please refer to the 'Guide for the evaluation of LIFE project proposals 2018'.

 

Very important: Please note that the e-mail address specified by the applicant as the contact person's e-mail address in form A2 will be used by the Contracting Authority as the single contact point for all correspondence with the applicant during the evaluation procedure. It should therefore correspond to an e-mail account which is valid, active and checked on a daily basis throughout the duration of the evaluation procedure.

The individual grant agreements are expected to be signed by the Contracting Authority starting from July 2019 (for an indicative timetable, see Annex 1).

The earliest possible starting date for projects is 15 July 2019.

1.6 General Guidance to Applicants

The current chapter replies to some frequently asked questions on how to conceive a LIFE project proposal. For specific guidelines, see section 2; for recommendation on how to fill in the technical and financial forms, please refer to section 3 of this document.

1.6.1 In which language may the concept note/full proposal be submitted?

The concept note must be submitted in English.

As for the full proposal, the Contracting Authority strongly recommends that applicants fill in the technical part and especially the financial part of the proposal in clear English only, although they may also be submitted in any of the official EU languages, except Irish or Maltese.

Note that the grant agreement, project management, formal reporting, key deliverables and all communication with the Contracting Authority will have to be in English.

The title of the proposal and form B1 ("Summary description of the project") must always be submitted in clear English. Form B1 may in addition also be submitted in the language of the proposal.

1.6.2 Who may submit a proposal?

A proposal may be submitted by any legal person registered in the European Union.

Entities participating in the proposal may fall into three types of beneficiaries: (1) public bodies, (2) private commercial organisations and (3) private non-commercial organisations (including NGOs).

The term "public bodies" is defined as referring to national public authorities, regardless of their form of organisation – central, regional or local structure – or the various bodies under their control, provided these operate on behalf of and under the responsibility of the national public authority concerned. In the case of entities registered as private law bodies wishing to be considered for the purpose of this call as equivalent to "public law bodies", they should provide evidence proving that they comply with all criteria applicable to bodies governed by public law and in the event the organisation stops its activities, its rights and obligations, liability and debts will be transferred to a public body. For a complete definition, please refer to the annex "Public body declaration", which must be completed by all beneficiaries which wish to be considered and treated as a 'public body'. The only exception concerns those central (e.g.: Ministry) and local administrations (e.g.: Provinces, Municipalities, Regions etc.) whose nature of 'public body' is clear.

Please note that so called 'Sole traders' (i.e. entities owned and run by one individual and where there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business) are considered natural persons and are therefore not eligible to participate as beneficiary or affiliate in this call.

Please refer to the 'Guide for the evaluation of LIFE project proposals 2018 of Environment Sub-programme' for full details regarding the compulsory administrative documents which are required with the proposal depending on the legal status of the coordinating beneficiary.

Once a proposal has been accepted for co-funding, the applicant will become the coordinating beneficiary who is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the project. The coordinating beneficiary will be the single point of contact for the Contracting Authority and will be the only beneficiary to report directly to the Contracting Authority on the project's technical and financial progress.

The coordinating beneficiary receives the EU financial contribution from the Contracting Authority and ensures its distribution as specified in the partnership agreements established with the associated beneficiaries (if there are any – see below). The coordinating beneficiary must be directly involved in the technical implementation of the project and in the dissemination of the project results.

The coordinating beneficiary must bear part of the project costs and must thus contribute financially to the project budget. It cannot therefore be reimbursed for 100% of the costs that it incurs.

The coordinating beneficiary must show its legal status (by completing application form A2) confirming legal registration in the EU.

In addition to the coordinating beneficiary, a LIFE proposal may also involve one or more associated beneficiaries and/or one or more project co-financiers.

The associated beneficiary must always contribute technically and financially to the proposal and hence be responsible for the implementation of one or several project actions. Furthermore, it must provide the coordinator beneficiary with all the necessary documents required for the fulfilment of its reporting obligations to the Contracting Authority.

There is no pre-defined number of associated beneficiaries to be involved in a LIFE proposal. A proposal that is submitted without any participant other than the coordinating beneficiary itself is eligible. On the other hand, a beneficiary should not hesitate to associate other beneficiaries, if this would bring an added value to the project, such as when the partnership strengthens the feasibility or the demonstration character of the proposal, its European added value, its impact and/or the transfer of its results and lessons learnt.

Public undertakings whose capital is publicly owned and which are considered an instrument or a technical service of a public administration, and which are subject to the public administration's control, but are in effect separate legal entities, must become beneficiaries if a public administration intends to entrust the implementation of certain project actions to these undertakings3.

Exceptionally an associated beneficiary may be legally registered outside the European Union if the actions outside the EU it is responsible for are (the coordinating beneficiary of the project in any case be based in the EU) necessary to achieve EU environmental objectives and to ensure the effectiveness of interventions carried out in the Member State territories to which the Treaties apply. In other words, the participation of an entity established outside the EU that will only contribute with the know-how or will collaborate to implement actions in the EU will not be considered as sufficient.

All associated beneficiaries must show their legal status (by completing application form A5), and provide full information on the Member State or third country in which they are registered. In addition all beneficiaries whether registered or not in the EU must declare that they are not in any of the situations foreseen under Article 106(1) and 107 of the EU Financial Regulation4 (by signing the application form A3 or A4 – see instructions in section 3 of this document).

For private beneficiaries, the Contracting Authority may accept that affiliated entities to a beneficiary participate in a project as long as all conditions listed in the Model Grant Agreement and its Annex X (Financial and Administrative Guidelines) are fulfilled. However, the association of entities as affiliates may complicate the project structure and thus have a negative impact on the technical and financial coherence of the project. It is therefore entirely in the Contracting Authority's administrative discretion to accept affiliates, and in no case will affiliated entities be accepted for public beneficiaries or entities that do not comply with the description of affiliated entities hereafter.

Affiliated entities need to comply with the eligibility and non-exclusion criteria applying to applicants and should have a structural link with the beneficiary concerned (i.e. a legal or capital link) that is neither limited to the project nor established for the sole purpose of the project implementation (so the link would exist independently of the award of the grant; it should exist before the call for proposals and remain valid after the end of the project).

As affiliated entities could be accepted those directly controlled by the beneficiary (i.e. daughter companies or first-tier subsidiaries), entities controlling the beneficiary (mother company) OR in case of Memberships, the beneficiary has to be legally defined as a network, federation, association in which the proposed affiliated entities participate. However, if several beneficiaries want to work with the same 'affiliate', the 'affiliate' should be proposed as 'beneficiary' instead.

A project co-financier only contributes to the project with financial resources, has no technical responsibilities, and cannot benefit from the EU financial contribution. Furthermore, it cannot act, in the context of the project, as a sub-contractor to any of the project's beneficiaries.

For specific tasks of a fixed duration, a proposal may foresee the use of sub-contractors. Sub-contractors provide external services to the project beneficiaries who fully pay for the services provided. Beneficiaries (including their affiliated entities) may not act as sub- contractors. Sub-contractors should normally not be identified by name in the proposal; if they are, the General Conditions of the Model LIFE Grant Agreement must still be respected.

For a more detailed description of the respective rules related to the coordinating beneficiary, associated beneficiaries, affiliates, co-financiers and sub-contractors, please refer to the General Conditions of the Model LIFE Grant Agreement.

1.6.3 What is the optimal budget for a LIFE project?

There is no fixed minimum size for project budgets. While large ambitious projects (i.e. over 5,000,000 Euro total costs) have been financed several times in the past, small projects (i.e. below 500,000 Euro total costs) have seldom succeeded due to the limited output and consequently the low added value.

 

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

For the duration of the second LIFE multiannual work programme for 2018-2020, the maximum EU co-financing rate for "traditional" LIFE projects is 55% of the total eligible project costs. An exception is made for "traditional" LIFE projects in the priority area Nature and Biodiversity under the sub-programme Environment for which the EU co-funding rate can go up to 60%, or 75% in specific cases.5

The payment schedule foreseen is the following:

(TABLE NOT AVAILABLE)

 

1.6.5 How much should project beneficiaries contribute to the project budget?

The coordinating beneficiary and any associated beneficiaries are expected to provide a reasonable financial contribution to the project budget. A beneficiary's financial contribution is considered as a proof of its commitment to the implementation of the project objectives – a very low financial contribution may therefore be considered as an absence or lack of commitment.

A proposal cannot be submitted if the financial contribution of any of the beneficiaries to the proposal budget is EUR 0.

 

Moreover, where public bodies are involved as coordinating and/or associated beneficiaries in a project, the sum of their financial contributions to the project budget must exceed (by at least 2%) the sum of the salary costs charged to the project for personnel who are not considered 'additional'. For details, please refer to section 3.4 of this document.

1.6.6 What is the optimal starting date and duration for a project?

When preparing the project's time planning, beneficiaries should be aware that the expected date of the signature of the grant agreements for the LIFE 2018 projects will be June-July 2019. The earliest possible starting date for these projects is 15 July 2019. Any costs incurred before the project's starting date will not be considered eligible and cannot be included in the project budget. There is no pre-determined project duration for a LIFE project. Generally speaking, the project duration must correspond to what is necessary to complete all of the project's actions and to reach all its objectives. On average projects last for 3–5 years.

Only under exceptional circumstances, the Contracting Authority may decide to grant an extension of the project duration. The experience of the previous LIFE Programmes has shown that many projects had difficulties completing all actions within the proposed project duration, mostly due to unforeseen delays and difficulties encountered during the project. Beneficiaries are therefore strongly advised to build an appropriate safety margin (e.g. 6 months) into the timetable of their proposal.

Beneficiaries should also be aware that a project that has completed all of its actions prior to the expected end date can submit its final report ahead of schedule and receive its final payment before the official project end date mentioned in the grant agreement.

1.6.7 Where can a LIFE project take place?

LIFE projects shall take place in the territory of the European Union Member States. The LIFE Programme may also finance activities outside the EU and in overseas countries and territories (OCTs), provided that the coordinating beneficiary is based in the EU and strong evidence is provided that the activities to be carried out outside the EU are necessary to achieve EU environmental objectives and to ensure the effectiveness of interventions carried out in the Member State territories to which the Treaties apply (e.g. actions aimed at the conservation of migratory birds in wintering areas or actions implemented on a trans boundary river). Please note that this is clearly an exception as normally actions should be carried out in the EU. However, when the problem at stake cannot be addressed successfully or efficiently unless actions are carried out also in non-EU countries, this will be possible. Qualitative and quantitative evidence to justify the need for those actions outside the EU must be given in the description of each of these actions in the relevant forms.

The eligibility criteria formulated in European Commission notice Nr.2013/C-205/05 (OJEU C-205 of 19/07/2013, pp. 9-11), concerning the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards, shall apply for all actions under this call for proposals, including with respect to third parties referred to in Article 137 of the EU's Financial Regulation.

 

1.6.8 Who should manage a LIFE project?

It is expected that the project management is carried out by the staff of the coordinating beneficiary. However, on the basis of an appropriate justification it may be carried out by an associated beneficiary or by sub-contractor under the coordinating beneficiary's direct control. It is also strongly advised that each project has a full-time project manager.

The proposal should clearly describe who will be in charge of the project management, how much personnel and time will be devoted to this task and how and by whom decisions on the project will be made during the project period (i.e. how and by whom the project management will be controlled).

1.6.9 Outsourcing of project activities

The beneficiaries should have the technical and financial capacity and competency to carry out the proposed project activities. It is therefore expected that the share of the project budget allocated to external assistance should remain below 35%. Higher shares may only be accepted if an adequate justification for this is provided in the project proposal.

The General Conditions of the Model LIFE Grant Agreement must be respected for any external assistance.

In line with Article 19 of the Regulation, beneficiaries (public and private) are strongly advised to use "green" procurement. The European Commission has established a toolkit for this purpose. More information can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/toolkit_en.htm

1.6.10 Under which conditions does LIFE favour transnational projects?

The LIFE Regulation indicates that, while selecting the projects to be co-funded, the Contracting Authority shall have special regard to transnational projects, when transnational cooperation is essential to guarantee environmental or nature protection. On the basis of award criterion 6, additional points will be given to a proposal if there is sufficient evidence for an added value of the transnational approach. If such evidence can be provided, the proposal will be considered for a higher scoring in the project selection process and will therefore have a higher chance of being selected for co-funding.

N.B. The meaning of "transnational" as foreseen in the LIFE Regulation only covers cooperation among Member States as well as cooperation among Member States and third countries participating in the LIFE Programme under article 5 of the LIFE Regulation. Activities outside the Union or in overseas countries and territories, while possible as foreseen under article 6 of the LIFE Regulation, will not entail additional points under award criterion 6.

1.6.11 How voluminous should a LIFE proposal be?

A proposal should be as concise and clear as possible. Applicants should avoid voluminous proposals and should not provide excessively detailed descriptions of project areas, environmental technologies, lists of species, etc.

Clear and detailed descriptions should, however, be provided for all project actions. Maps should be annexed wherever this would be useful to clarify the location of the proposed actions (note that they are obligatory in some cases).

Brochures, CVs and similar documents should not be submitted and will be ignored if provided.

1.6.12 Ongoing activities

Actions already ongoing before the start of the project are not eligible.

Where actions to be undertaken in the project are significantly different from previous or ongoing activities in terms of frequency or intensity they are not considered ongoing. The applicant must provide adequate information in the proposal that allows to assess this aspect.

Exceptionally, in case of actions that were undertaken and completed in the past and that are proposed to be repeated at a similar frequency or intensity during the project, the applicant must provide evidence that such actions would not have been carried out in the absence of the LIFE project.

1.6.13 Sustainability of the project and its actions

LIFE projects represent a considerable investment, and the European Union attaches great importance to the long term sustainability of these investments. The sustainability of the project results in the medium and long term is understood as the capacity to maintain them after project implementation, be it by continuation, by replication or by transfer. It is obligatory that throughout the duration of the project, the beneficiaries consider how these investments will be secured, maintained, developed and made use of or replicated/transferred during or after the end of the project. Successful continuation, replication and/or transfer require a strategy including tasks to multiply the impacts of the projects' solutions and mobilise a wider uptake, reaching a critical mass during the project and/or in a short and medium term perspective after the end of the LIFE project. This goes beyond transfer of knowledge and networking, and involves putting the solutions developed and/or applied in the project into practice beyond the project period, elsewhere or for a different purpose.

1.6.14 Research activities and large infrastructure

Whereas EU funding for research activities is provided under Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014–2020)6, limited research aimed to improve and enhance the knowledge data underpinning the project may be carried out within a LIFE project. Research must be strictly limited and intrinsically related to the project's objectives and the applicant shall explain in detail how the proper implementation of the project relies on these research activities, showing that the existing scientific basis is insufficient, and how the additional knowledge will be used to implement the project actions. In such a case, scientific publications are considered important deliverables of the project.

Projects dedicated to the construction of large infrastructure do not fall within the scope of the LIFE Programme and are therefore not eligible. A project is considered to be dedicated to the construction of large infrastructure if the actual cost7 of a "single item of infrastructure" exceeds € 500,000. A "single item of infrastructure" means all elements as described in form F4a that are physically bound to ensure the functionality of the infrastructural investment (e.g. for an eco-duct the bridge, barriers, signposting, etc.). Such amount may be exceptionally exceeded if full technical justification is provided in the proposal demonstrating the necessity of the infrastructure for ensuring an effective contribution to the objectives of Articles 10, 11 or 12 of the LIFE Regulation.

1.6.15 Complementarity with other EU funding programmes

According to Article 8 of the LIFE Regulation, activities supported from the LIFE Programme must ensure consistency and synergies, and avoid overlap with other funding programmes of the Union. In particular, the Contracting Authority and the Member States must ensure coordination with the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and Horizon 2020.

It is thus essential that, prior to submitting their proposal to the Contracting Authority, beneficiaries check thoroughly whether the actions proposed under their project in practice could be, or are, funded through other EU funds.

The beneficiaries must inform the Contracting Authority about any related funding they have received from the EU budget, as well as any related ongoing applications for funding from the EU budget. The beneficiaries must also check that they are not receiving on-going operating grants from LIFE (or other EU programmes) that could lead to double financing.

Failure to signal this in the appropriate form A7 might lead to rejection of the proposal.

Please note that this is an area of growing concern, evidence shows that an increasing number of similar or same proposals are submitted to various programmes. Increasingly severe checks and cross-checks are carried out by the contracting authorities. Failure to declare that the same or a similar proposal has been submitted to another programme (or worst, already even partly financed) may have serious consequences.

In addition, at the project revision stage, the national authority may also be required to indicate the steps taken to ensure the coordination and complementarity of LIFE funding with other EU funding programmes.

On the contrary, projects that show synergies with EU policies different than those covered by the LIFE programme and with other EU funding mechanisms, will receive bonus points in the evaluation phase (Award criterion 6) depending on the extent and quality of such synergies. An example of such synergies could be a project aimed at improving waste management that simultaneously increases social integration.

1.6.16 Proposals following or based on previous LIFE projects

If the applicant is proposing a continuation of a previous LIFE project, he should clearly describe in form A7 why a further project phase is needed and how this will complement the results achieved with the previous project. The applicant should also explain when discussing sustainability (form B6), how a further continuation would be ensured with resources other than the LIFE programme. Last, but not least, in the description of every key action (C-forms) the applicant should provide precise information on how this action builds upon and complements the similar action carried out in the previous project phase.

 

Applicants should also show that they have taken into consideration other LIFE projects financed that addressed a similar issue. They will need to explain how their proposal builds upon or differs from the others and how it will coordinate with them if those projects are still on-going.

During the evaluation process these aspects will be carefully checked. Failure to provide full details on these aspects will have a negative impact on the final score.

1.6.17 Quantification of environmental benefits

The improved performances/advantages introduced by the proposed solution must be quantified in terms of the expected environmental benefits. They must be concrete, realistic and quantified as far as possible and must be presented in a life-cycle reasoning where relevant. This must be done by clearly comparing them to the state-of-play estimated or measured at the outset of the project. In this regard as far as the full proposal is concerned, consistency shall be ensured between environmental benefits described in the relevant forms and values reported in the table on LIFE Key project level indicators .

1.6.18 Coordination requirements for multiple proposals aimed at the same/similar issue

Evidence shows that an increasing number of proposals aimed at the same or at a similar issue are submitted, often in the same Member State without a clear rational and coordination mechanism. This happens more frequently in the Nature and Biodiversity priority area.

To avoid such situations applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with National Contact Points (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/contact/nationalcontact/) to check whether the topic they are addressing is being addressed also by other applicants. If this is the case, applicants are encouraged to seek cooperation to avoid possible overlaps and increase synergies.

1.7 Personal Data Protection Clause

The personal data supplied with your proposal, notably the name, address and other contact information of the beneficiaries and co-financiers, will be placed in a database named ESAP that will be made available to the EU Institutions and agencies, as well as to a team of external evaluators who are bound by a confidentiality agreement. ESAP is used exclusively to manage the evaluation of LIFE proposals.

The same personal data of successful projects will be transferred to another database called BUTLER, which will be made available to the EU Institutions and agencies and to an external monitoring team who are bound by a confidentiality agreement. BUTLER is used exclusively to manage LIFE projects.

A summary of each project, including the name and contact information of the coordinating beneficiary, will be placed on the LIFE website and made available to the general public. At a certain point the coordinating beneficiary will be invited to check the accuracy of this summary.

 

 

The list of successful beneficiaries and the relative amounts awarded to the projects selected will also be published in a public database called the Financial Transparency System8.

The Contracting Authority, or its contractors, may also use the personal data of unsuccessful applicants for follow up actions in connection with future applications.

Throughout this process, Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data will be respected by the Contracting Authority and its sub-contractors. You will notably have the right to access data concerning you in our possession and to request corrections.

Submission of a proposal implies that you accept that the personal data contained in your proposal is made available as described above. It will not be used in any other way or for any other purposes than those described above.

 

 

2. LIFE Climate Action

2.1 What is LIFE Climate Action?

LIFE Climate Action aims specifically to fulfil the following general objectives as set out in Article 3 of the LIFE programme:

  •   to contribute to the shift towards a resource-efficient, low- carbon and climate-resilient economy;

  •   to improve the development, implementation and enforcement of Union climate policy and legislation;

  •   to act as a catalyst for, and promote, the integration and mainstreaming of climate objectives into other Union policies and public and private sector practice;

  •   to support better climate governance at all levels, including better involvement of civil society, NGOs and local actors.

In October 2014 the European Council8 set the 2030 climate and energy policy framework for the EU setting an ambitious economy-wide domestic target of at least 40% greenhouse gas emission reduction for 2030, as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency targets of at least 27%. The Paris Agreement indicates the EU's approach: implementing the 2030 energy and climate framework as agreed by the European Council is a priority in follow up to the Paris Agreement.

As indicated in the EU Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the LIFE Programme9 "specific approaches are required to deal with uneven integration of their objectives into Member States' practices, uneven and inadequate implementation of the legislation in the Member States, and insufficient dissemination of information about, and promotion of, policy goals.

Projects under this call for proposals should support the implementation of the EU's climate policy and prepare the EU for the climate action challenges in the coming years. The “Framework strategy for a resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy”10 and the Commission Communication of 15 December 2011 entitled "A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050" (the "Roadmap 2050") acknowledged that testing new approaches to climate change mitigation would remain essential for moving to a low-carbon economy. The Resource Efficient Europe flagship initiative supports the shift towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon and climate resilient economy to achieve sustainable growth, providing a long-term framework for actions in many policy areas, including climate change and energy. Moreover, effective uptake of adaptation to climate change, as a cross-cutting Union priority, also needs to be ensured as acknowledged in the Commission Communication "An EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change"11. In addition, improved governance, in particular through awareness raising, capacity building and stakeholders' involvement, is essential to deliver climate objectives.

 

Therefore, the sub-programme for Climate Action requires projects to contribute to one of the following three priority areas:

  •   Climate Change Mitigation,

  •   Climate Change Adaptation and

  •   Climate Governance and Information.

Projects must choose which priority area they contribute to and indicate this in the application form in eProposal. It is encouraged, where relevant, for projects to contribute to more than one of those priority areas.12

With a view to optimising the use of LIFE Programme resources, links between actions under the LIFE sub-programme for Environment and climate change mitigation and adaptation measures under the LIFE sub-programme for Climate Action should be fostered.13,14 (for example, climate change adaptation and biodiversity should be promoted, wherever relevant; for forests and soil, water scarcity and droughts, as well as management of flood risks; CO2 savings and air quality; etc.). The LIFE Regulation and the EU Adaptation Strategy, highlight ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation. As this approach clearly results in multiple benefits, applicants should determine whether the proposal is geared, from its initial conception and design, towards adaptation to climate change or towards nature conservation, and thus apply for the relevant subprogramme of the LIFE Programme. Examples of this may include proposals concerning peatland restoration, coastal realignment or river floodplain restoration. Projects in urban areas can also promote benefits on both climate change adaptation and mitigation, in addition to environmental policies. Examples of this may include proposals concerning thermal insulation of buildings, green infrastructure and water savings.

Solutions, methods and approaches developed by projects under the LIFE sub-programme for Climate Action should be suitable to be scaled up and supported by private investments, other Union or national funding programmes, as well as financial instruments, where applicable.

Projects in one priority area that might undermine environmental or climate objectives in another priority area will not be funded unless this impact is clearly explained and justified in the proposal and the possible alternatives and mitigation and adaptation measures have been correctly planned if appropriate.

The experience of past LIFE programmes has highlighted the need to focus efforts on concrete environmental and climate policy priorities and areas for action. Those thematic priorities should not be exhaustive to allow applicants to submit proposals in other areas and to incorporate new ideas to react to new challenges.15 In line with the general objective of the LIFE Regulation, the project applications are especially encouraged to address specific climate challenges in each of the three priority areas, which are outlined below in the form of EU policy areas and work areas.

 

2.2 What are Climate Action projects?

According to the LIFE Regulation, LIFE Climate Change Mitigation and Climate Change Adaptation projects must be pilot, demonstration or best practice projects:

  •   Pilot project means projects that apply a technique or method that has not been applied or tested before, or elsewhere, that offers potential environmental or climate advantages compared to current best practice and that can subsequently be applied on a larger scale to similar situations. These projects aim to assess the effectiveness of the method, to inform other stakeholders of the results and to encourage them where appropriate to use the techniques and methods successfully tested in the project.

    Note that the application of an established solution action/methodology in a particular geographical region where it has not been applied before is not considered to be a "pilot" activity but a "demonstration" activity.

  •   Demonstration project means projects that put into practice, test, evaluate and disseminate actions, methodologies or approaches that are new or unknown in the specific context of the project, such as the geographical, ecological, socio-economic context, and that could be applied elsewhere in similar circumstances. In order to achieve the required EU added value, they must be designed to demonstrate whether or not the target techniques and methods work in the project's context. A successful demonstration project is available to all potential stakeholders and aims to encourage other stakeholders to use the techniques and methods demonstrated in the project. Demonstration projects may have a higher EU added value if they take place on a national or transnational level, rather than on a local scale.

As regards the demonstration scale, the project should be implemented on a technical scale that allows the evaluation of the technical and economic viability of the proposed pilot on a larger scale. The proposal must justify the choice of scale for the project in the light of the above. In particular, for projects developing decision support systems, planning tools or the like, there has to be a specific project action implementing the tool to demonstrate its technical and economic viability and to enable a comparison with the baseline situation.

Note that the application of an established best practice action/methodology in a particular geographical region where it has not been applied before is considered to be a "best practice" activity.

 Best practice project means projects that apply appropriate, cost-effective and state-of-the-art techniques, methods and approaches taking into account the specific context of the project. They are available to all potential stakeholders to adopt and illustrate how this can be done.

According to the LIFE Regulation, LIFE Climate Governance and Information are:

 Information, awareness and dissemination projects aiming at supporting communication, dissemination of information and awareness raising in the fields of the sub-programmes for Environment and Climate Action. They must especially serve one or more of the general objectives of the Climate Governance and Information priority area, in accordance with Article 16 of the LIFE regulation. Projects aiming to enhance climate governance and capacity building are strongly encouraged.

All projects need to contribute to the general objectives of the LIFE programme according to Article 1 of the LIFE Regulation. This means that the climate advantages demonstrated by the project need to have a clear intended application and a potential impact towards achieving a low emission and climate resilient society and/or the integration of climate objectives into the public and private sector.

In order to achieve the required EU added value, the monitoring, evaluation and active dissemination of the main project results and/or lessons learnt should be an integral part of the project and its follow up.

 

2.3 Priority Area: Climate Change Mitigation

2.3.1 General scope and objectives

The LIFE Regulation states that to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions the priority area of Climate Change Mitigation has in particular the following specific objectives16:

  •   to contribute to the implementation and development of Union policy and legislation on climate change mitigation, including mainstreaming across policy areas, in particular by developing, testing and demonstrating policy or management approaches, best practices and solutions for climate change mitigation;

  •   to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of effective climate change mitigation actions and measures and to enhance the capacity to apply that knowledge in practice;

  •   to facilitate the development and implementation of integrated approaches, such as for climate change mitigation strategies and action plans, at local, regional or national level;

  •   to contribute to the development and demonstration of innovative climate change mitigation technologies, systems, methods and instruments that are suitable for being replicated, transferred or mainstreamed.

2.3.2 Link to EU climate policy objectives

Projects under the Climate Change Mitigation Priority Area should contribute to the transition towards a low emission economy and to reaching the EU target of at least 40% greenhouse gas emission reduction for 2030 compared with 1990 levels, as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency targets of at least 27% compared with the business-as-usual scenario.

The Union climate policy and legislation aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions focus in particular on:

  •   renewable energy,

  •   energy efficiency,

  •   the emissions trading system,

  •   energy and greenhouse gas intensive industrial production,

  •   land use, agriculture and forestry,

  •   conservation and enhancement of natural carbon sinks,

  •   transport and fuels,

  •   fluorinated gases and ozone depleting substances,

    16 Article 14 of the LIFE Regulation (EU) No 1293/2013 24

  •   carbon capture and use,

  •   carbon capture and storage17,

  •   efforts by Member States and regional/local authorities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and

  •   greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting.

2.3.3 EU policy areas and related work areas for the 2018 call
According to the LIFE Programme Multiannual Work Programme 2018-202018, the EU policy areas are the following:

  1. Member States' and regional/ local authorities' efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the sectors not covered in the EU Emissions Trading System and in the Effort Sharing Regulation: transport and fuels, agriculture, construction (e.g. energy efficiency in buildings), land use, land-use change and forestry;

  2. The development and implementation of greenhouse gas accounting and climate change mitigation in the land use sector;

  3. The development of land management practices which have an impact on emissions and removals of emissions;

  4. Actions which enhance the functioning of the emissions trading system and which have an impact on energy and greenhouse gas intensive industrial production;

  5. Fluorinated gases and ozone – depleting substances;

  6. Greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting by authorities.

Policy areas number 1, 2 and 3 and related work areas:

  1. Member States' and regional / local authorities' efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the sectors not covered in the EU Emissions Trading System and in the Effort Sharing Decision: transport and fuels, agriculture, construction (e.g. energy efficiency in buildings), land use, land-use change and forestry;

  2. The development and implementation of greenhouse gas accounting and climate change mitigation in the land use sector;

  3. The development of land management practices which have an impact on emissions and removals of emissions

The Council and the European Parliament are expected to adopt by spring 2018 the climate legislation setting out how the EU will achieve its Paris Agreement commitment of a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030 in the non-ETS sectors. This legislation will be in force as of 2021. The land use sector is directly covered by the legislation on: the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) and the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation. The ESR sets Member States targets for emissions reduction in non-ETS sectors, including transport and fuels, buildings and agriculture. This legislation covers methane and nitrous oxide emissions which are a consequence of agricultural activities (fertiliser use, livestock, manure management and more). Besides, the LULUCF Regulation requires Member States to ensure that the amount of greenhouse gas absorbed by the LULUCF sector is at least equivalent to that emitted. Moreover, the Communication of the Future of Food and Farming19, published by the Commission in November 2017, underlines that a main objective of the future Common Agricultural Policy is to contribute to the EU's environmental and climate goals.

A key challenge for the land use sector is to incentivise measures ensuring that EU activities on landscapes (forests, soils and agriculture) contribute to the Paris Agreement goals. These measures should be implemented in a manner that do not threaten food production, and should aim to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions and removals by 2050, while conserving and enhancing both terrestrial sinks (carbon capture) and reservoirs (carbon storage). For this purpose, innovative solutions need to be tested and implemented taking particular account of their potential replication and transfer across regions and Member States.

The LIFE programme will furthermore support projects enhancing the mitigation role of wetlands and peatlands and tackling the climate change problems posed by soil degradation in its various forms. Finally, actions promoting the cascading use of wood materials may also be included as part of a project, to exploit the importance of harvested wood products both as carbon storage and as substitutes of more polluting fossil-based materials (bio-economy). Such land use measures would contribute to building a low-carbon economy.

Proposals should include good practices that can be replicated and transferred across regions and Member States, and are focused on synergies between environmental and climate actions associated with agriculture, forests and soils including their monitoring.

Projects related to one or more policy areas n° 1, 2 or 3 should in particular address the specific EU work areas listed below:

Land use

New, innovative and cost-efficient landscape and land management techniques, to improve the implementation of mitigation measures such as:

  •  Reduction of CH4 emissions from the livestock sector (e.g. feed additive technologies, precision and multi-phase feeding of livestock, better livestock genomics, welfare planning);
  •   Reduction of N2O emissions from fertiliser use (e.g. supporting the uptake of modern fertilizer techniques, improvement of nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency/application technology, carbon audit tools);

  •   Reduction of CO2 emissions from land use and land use change (e.g. land management techniques such as conservation till or no-till, crop residue management, prevention of soil compaction, solar fodder dryers, carbon audit tools);

  •   Enhancement of CO2 removals from land use and land use change (e.g. crop rotations, catch crops, perennial energy crops, agro-forestry, restoration of degraded lands);

  •   Wetland and peatland management (e.g. preventing the drainage or incentivising the rewetting of wetlands, preventing further drainage and bog fires, incentivising restauration of mires, rewetting wetlands, promoting climate-friendly forms of peatland management, particularly after exploitation).

Sustainable Forest Management and cascading use of solid biomass

  •  Develop and promote effective climate smart forestry activities related to:

    • o Afforestationandreforestation.
    • o Conservation of carbon in forests.
    • o Enhancing forest management, including tending and thinning, and soil conservation.
  •  Efficient conversion of solid biomass into long-term carbon storage and sources of renewable energy, fostering the principles of cascading use of biomass and substitution of fossil-based materials with bio-based materials.

Policy area number 4 and work areas

4. Actions which enhance the functioning of the emissions trading system and which have an impact on energy and greenhouse gas intensive industrial production.

In order to reach the targets set out in the EU's 2030 Climate and energy framework and to contribute to the implementation of the 2050 low-carbon economy roadmaps, significant investments in industrial innovation and demonstration plants are necessary. In this context, LIFE programme supports the development and implementation of advanced low-carbon manufacturing and processing breakthrough solutions. These are essential to maintain the competitiveness of EU industries while ensuring the climate objectives are reached.

Proposals shall focus and target the specific work areas related to energy-intensive industries (EIIs) and especially (but not exclusively) those industries which may be exposed to a significant risk of carbon leakage.

Therefore, priority will be given to projects focusing on the development and demonstration of innovative and cost-effective technologies and processes, with the objective of reducing the greenhouse gases (GHG) emission intensity20 of manufacturing and

20 Ratio between direct GHG emissions and output units of an activity

processing industries. Applicants for this type of projects are invited to consider the following key features:

  •   EII proposals should focus on the design, development and implementation of innovative solutions mainly via demonstration programmes with a long-term impact, including in real industrial environments. Projects should deliver economically viable solutions, processes and technologies, new raw-materials or products that allow a significant reduction in specific GHG emission intensity21. The reduction of GHG emissions should not be achieved solely through fuel switching.

  •   Activities are intended to start at Technology Readiness Level 4-5 and target Technology Readiness 8-9. Applicants can propose preparatory work, such as development of strategies and pre-feasibility studies on innovative solutions provided that these are used for the development of concrete activities implemented during the project. The activities are expected to be led by industries with support from partners and technology providers.

  •   The proposals may address a variety of technological solutions and processes with potential widespread applications or combine different technologies and processes across the sectors. Cooperation between industrial sectors is encouraged, and applicants should, whenever possible, seek synergies, including possibilities for funding from relevant national/regional research, innovation or climate programmes and/or cumulative funding.

  •   A dedicated action should address the transferability of the developed technologies processes or products within the sector and possibly to other sectors. It is expected that they transfer solutions and technologies or enhance innovations of suppliers to energy intensive industries.

  •   Projects should boost Europe's industrial leadership in advanced manufacturing and processing and foster employment particularly in the small and medium-sized enterprises and open new market opportunities in this field.

5. Fluorinated gases and ozone – depleting substances

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and other fluorinated greenhouse gases do not attack the ozone layer, but are climate gases with high Global Warming Potential (GWP), therefore their use needs to be drastically reduced. This is why the EU Regulation (517/2014) on fluorinated greenhouse gases includes a so-called phase-down of HFCs by almost 80% by 2030. In 2016 an agreement was also reached under the Montreal Protocol (the "Kigali Amendment") to phase down HFCs at global level. Therefore, in general terms, the projects shall help the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, its Kigali amendment and the EU Regulation on the fluorinated greenhouse gases.

 

For 2018 call, projects under this policy area should, in particular, address the issues of the following work areas:

 Availability of suitable alternatives to fluorinated gases: In most HFC-using sectors alternatives are available today in a few application areas, however, there still remains an urgent need to innovate further and/or demonstrate the suitability (safety, costs, energy efficiency, fit-for-purpose) of climate-friendly alternatives. Other fluorinated gases, such as sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and perfluorocarbons (PFC), have particularly high climate-warming properties (up to 23.000 times more than CO2); therefore it is a high priority to find suitable alternatives for their uses also.

Demonstration, pilot or best practice projects showing the use of low GWP alternatives to fluorinated gases should be trialled in the following sectors:

  •   MDIs (metered dose inhalers = "asthma sprays");

  •   Air conditioning and refrigeration equipment for high ambient temperatures;

  •   ORCs (Organic Rankine Cycles);

  •   Heat pumps;

  •   Niche applications where no alternatives to HFCs are readily available;

  •   Improving system design to address flammability/pressure issues to encourage use of natural refrigerants (e.g. hydrocarbons, CO2) for any kind of F-gas using equipment;

  •   SF6 use in electrical switchgear, in particular primary medium voltage, and high voltage;

  •   Fluorinated gases (SF6, NF3, PFCs, etc.) used in manufacturing processes such as in the electronics industry (semiconductors, photovoltaics) and other emissive uses (aircrafts, industrial processes etc.).

  •  Removal of barriers posed by standards: Another important barrier to the use of climate-friendly alternatives to fluorinated gases are standards in the area of refrigeration and air conditioning. A major gap is that relevant information on risk management and minimization approaches for flammable refrigerants, in particular hydrocarbons, are not available to the relevant standard-setting bodies.

Demonstration, pilot or best practice projects should demonstrate how risks of flammable refrigerants, in particular hydrocarbons, are minimized in design and use of equipment to maximize refrigerant charge sizes without compromising safety. The minimization of risks should be guided by objective data. This could involve bringing relevant existing information and research together as well as new complementary laboratory and field studies in support of standard setting processes and the work of existing standard committees.

 

6. Greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting by authorities

There are no specific work areas for this policy area under the 2018 call for proposals.

 

2.4 Priority Area Climate Change Adaptation

2.4.1 General scope and objectives

With a view to supporting efforts leading to increased resilience to climate change, the priority area Climate Change Adaptation has in particular the following specific objectives as set out in Article 15 of the LIFE Regulation:

 to contribute to the development and implementation of Union policy on climate change adaptation, including mainstreaming across policy areas, in particular by developing, testing and demonstrating policy or management approaches, best practices and solutions for climate change adaptation, including, where appropriate, ecosystem-based approaches;

 to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of effective climate change adaptation actions and measures, prioritising, where appropriate, those applying an ecosystem-based approach, and to enhance the capacity to apply that knowledge in practice;

 to facilitate the development and implementation of integrated approaches, such as for climate change adaptation strategies and action plans, at local, regional or national level, prioritising, where appropriate, ecosystem-based approaches;

 to contribute to the development and demonstration of innovative climate change adaptation technologies, systems, methods and instruments that are suitable for being replicated, transferred or mainstreamed.

2.4.2 Link to EU climate policy objectives

Climate change is having a variety of impacts on our health, ecosystems and economy, often in interaction with other factors such as land-use change. Many economic sectors are directly dependent on climatic conditions and are already facing the impact of climate change in areas such as agriculture, forestry, beach and snow tourism, health and fisheries. Major utilities, such as energy and water providers, are also affected. Ecosystems and the services they provide are suffering from the adverse impacts of climate change, which is accelerating the decline of biodiversity and reducing their ability to buffer natural extremes.

The EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change22, adopted in April 2013, provides a framework and mechanisms to improve the preparedness of the EU for current and future impacts of climate change. It recognizes that improved access to funding is critical in building a climate-resilient Europe. The implementation of adaptation policies in many European countries and worldwide is gradually picking up pace, buttressed by the Paris Agreement. The agreement sets out a global action plan to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warning to well below 2°C. In relation to climate adaptation, governments agreed to strengthen societies' ability to deal with the impact of climate change.

Objectives and priorities for funding adaptation to climate change are specified in the EU Adaptation Strategy and in the LIFE Multiannual Work Programme 2018-2020.

2.4.3 EU policy areas and related work areas for the 2018 call

Proposals within the following policy areas are encouraged:

  1. Urban adaptation and land use planning which limits the impacts of climate change;

  2. Resilience of infrastructure, including application of blue-green infrastructure and ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation;

  3. Sustainable management of water in drought-prone areas, flood and coastal management;

  4. Resilience of agricultural, forestry and tourism sectors, including in island and mountain areas;

  5. Support to the EU's Outermost Regions23: preparedness for extreme weather events, notably in coastal areas.

As regards the adaptation priority area, proposals should address the implementation of adaptation strategies that focus on a number of key areas with EU added value, including implementation at regional or cross-border level, and through ecosystem-based adaptation where relevant. Projects should have a demonstration and transferability potential and should address the promotion of innovative adaptation solutions, in particular through mobilising the private sector, and, where relevant through the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy Initiative. Projects should also promote synergies between climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as disaster risk reduction policies.

In particular, EU adaptation climate policy can be supported by applications in the following policy areas:

1) Urban adaptation and land use planning which limits the impacts of climate change

Urban adaptation has been one of the priority actions of the EU Adaptation Strategy. The European Commission launched the new Covenant of Mayors on Climate and Energy in October 2015, building on the 2008 Covenant of Mayors and the 2014 Mayors Adapt initiatives. The new Covenant informs, mobilises and supports cities to take action on mitigation and adaptation to climate change as well as access to clean and affordable energy. Signatories pledge actions to support implementation of the EU 40% greenhouse gas-reduction target by 2030 and to carry out a comprehensive risk and vulnerability assessment and an adaptation action plan.

Project proposals under this policy area should focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as nature conservation and biodiversity objectives in urban areas.

Projects under policy area number 1 should in particular address the following work areas:

 

  •   developing and implementing adaptation initiatives ideally following an approach integrating mitigation through the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, including establishing cooperation between local, regional and/or national authorities where relevant;

  •   developing and deploying innovative adaptation solutions in urban areas, including in the water, energy and construction sectors and solutions addressing health and wellbeing;

  •   implementing public-private partnerships to mobilise private sector involvement and finance of adaptation, including through integrating insurance solutions.

2) Resilience of infrastructure, including application of blue-green infrastructure and ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation

The EU adaptation strategy includes specific actions on enhancing the resilience of infrastructure. Projects under policy area number 2 could focus on climate-proofing of infrastructure, such as energy, transport or social housing, for example through applying standards and building codes or through monitoring performance of infrastructure. Projects could also focus on application of blue-green infrastructure and ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation, including promoting and developing green infrastructure.

There are no specific work areas for policy area number 2. under 2018 call.

3) Sustainable management of water in drought-prone areas, flood and coastal management

Projects under policy area number 3 should in particular address the following work areas:

  •   cross-border management of floods;

  •   trans-boundary coastal management, with emphasis on densely populated deltas and coastal cities.

4) Resilience of agricultural, forestry and tourism sectors, including in island and mountain areas

Projects under policy area number. 4 should in particular address the following work area:  adaptation in forest management to reduce forest fire risk.

5) Support to the EU's Outermost Regions: preparedness for extreme weather events, notably in coastal areas.

Extreme weather events, such as hurricane Irma, have demonstrated that Outermost Regions (ORs) are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The new strategy for ORs24 foresees and encourages measures to address climate change, including the LIFE Programme.

Projects under policy area number 5 should in particular address the following work areas:

  •   development and implementation of risk and vulnerability assessments and adaptation strategies;

  •   early warning systems for extreme events;

  •   coastal management to adapt to extreme weather events through ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation (e.g. mangroves, sand dune area management, wetland management etc.);

  •   implementation of innovative approaches to ensure resilience of energy infrastructure from extreme weather events, specially renewable energy infrastructure.

 

2.5 Priority area Climate Governance and Information

2.5.1 General scope and objectives

LIFE Climate Governance and Information specifically aims at contributing to the development and implementation of EU climate policy and legislation.

The specific objectives of the priority area Climate Governance and Information set out in Article 16 of the LIFE Regulation are in particular:

  •   to promote awareness raising on climate matters, including generating public and stakeholder support of Union policy making in the field of the climate, and to promote knowledge on sustainable development;

  •   to support communication, management, and dissemination of information in the field of the climate and to facilitate knowledge sharing on successful climate solutions and practice, including by developing cooperation platforms among stakeholders and training;

  •   to promote and contribute to more effective compliance with and enforcement of Union climate legislation, in particular by promoting the development and dissemination of best practices and policy approaches;

  •   to promote better climate governance by broadening stakeholder involvement, including NGOs, in consultation on and implementation of policy.

2.5.2 Link to EU climate policy objectives

Projects under the Climate Governance and Information Priority Area should promote actions contributing to objective of shifting towards a low carbon and resilient economy.

In this context, the development of long term climate strategies and new policy measures, full implementation of climate policy and legislation as well as ensuring a higher uptake of climate friendly technologies is important. These aspects are inextricably linked to achieving, better governance, more accurate monitoring and reporting activities, mainstreaming climate action in other policies as well as promoting knowledge, dissemination of information and stakeholder involvement.

Projects aiming to enhance climate governance and capacity-building are strongly encouraged. Pure awareness raising activities (like creating a webpage) are not encouraged. If a project develops tools or studies, there must be a specific and concrete action implementing the tool/studies during the implementation of the project.

Projects could develop cooperation platforms and share best practices for more effective compliance, enforcement and mainstreaming, and generate support from the public and stakeholders for the Union's policy-making efforts.25

 

2.5.3 EU policy areas and related work areas for the 2018 call

In particular the following European policy areas listed below are encouraged:

  1. Development and implementation of national 2030 climate and energy strategies and/or mid-century strategies;

  2. Incentivise behavioural change, mainstream emission reduction and resource efficiency actions in sectors;

  3. Assessment by authorities of the functioning of the EU ETS;

  4. Building capacities, raising awareness among end-users and the equipment

    distribution chain of fluorinated gases;

  5. Climate policy monitoring, assessment and ex-post evaluation;

  6. Best practices and awareness raising activities addressing adaptation needs.

1. Development and implementation of national 2030 climate and energy strategies and/or mid-century strategies
In the context of the Energy Union, it is foreseen to streamline and integrate the planning of climate and energy strategies to ensure coherence across policy fields. Furthermore the Paris Agreement invites Parties to prepare mid-century strategies. An important element of preparing such strategies is the development and use of quantitative modelling tools and the implementation of quantitative projections that can inform policy makers and stakeholders. Where appropriate, the development of these strategies can also address the implications of fundamental sectorial transformations, necessary in the longer term to achieve a low carbon economy, with a view of increasing stakeholder and public awareness.

Proposals should include especially concrete actions for the use and implementation of such modelling tools and strategies developed, for example municipality implementing key activities identified in the climate strategy within the duration of the project.

There are no specific work areas for this policy area under the 2018 call.

2. Incentivise behavioural change, mainstream emission reduction and resource efficiency actions in sectors

Projects shall address, in particular, the following work areas:

  •  Encouraging climate actions in communities where the climate change mitigation potential in the land use sector is particularly relevant (whether in terms of decreasing emissions or maintaining and enhancing carbon storage potential in soils), and improving the understanding of the economic and social benefits of such actions. Successful projects should demonstrate new and innovative climate measures that possibly could later on also be replicated in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy. To this end they should strive not only to be replicable at larger scale, but also identify cost-effective mitigation outcomes that are easy to monitor (in terms of compliance and climate performance) or provide the tools to improve such monitoring.
  •   Enhancing consumers' empowerment to benefit from real-world fuel consumption savings in cars and vans and allow consumers to make informed purchase decisions for cars with low pollutant emissions. Projects must deliver concrete results for consumers and especially contribute to the collection of robust large-scale data to monitor any remaining gap between WLTP type-approved fuel consumption / CO2 emission values and real-world values experienced by consumers on the road. Projects should have a wide geographical coverage across the EU. More specifically projects could include:

    •   information campaigns on the introduction of the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) and the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Test;

    •   self-reporting platforms for consumers to report/stimulate and compare their actual fuel consumption (see, for example, the Joint Research Centre's 'Green Driving Tool'26);

    •   support to voluntary approaches for collecting real-world fuel consumption data or for clear identification of low-polluting vehicles;

    •   large-scale fuel consumption monitoring with on-board measurement devices. Such projects should ideally involve consumer organisations, car driver associations, environmental groups, leasing companies or independent research organisations.

    •   Driving the integration of climate mitigation and adaptation considerations in the EU financial system. An orderly transition to a low carbon and climate resilient economy requires a rapid shift in the capital allocation in the EU. The EU High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance27 and the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan28 outline concrete actions to this end. Therefore, further development of metrics and benchmarks, improved transparency, accessibility and comparability of data including on investment pipelines, as well as measures to increase the use of the new information are needed. Projects in this area should seek synergies with the broader sustainable finance and Sustainable Development agenda29.

3. Assessment by authorities of the functioning of the EU ETS

Enhanced implementation and development of climate policies also requires transparency and accountability. A solid system for tracking progress through enhanced monitoring and reporting is therefore important, as well as a robust evaluation of the effects of climate policies considering the international dimension of carbon markets. An essential element is the assessment of the functioning of the EU ETS, its impacts and interaction with energy and other policy instruments and the related development of easily accessible information and data with a view to further develop robust carbon pricing policies and disseminate European experience in this regard.

Under the 2018 call, proposals focusing on the work area of building broader and stronger international networks of experts and ensure wider dissemination of knowledge on building political support for carbon markets and further technical aspects, such as emissions

 

4. Building capacities, raising awareness among end-users and the equipment distribution chain of fluorinated gases
In relation to the EU Regulation 517/2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases, activities increasing the uptake of training for service personnel of equipment using climate-friendly alternatives (e.g. ammonia, CO2, hydrocarbons, HFOs) are important. Awareness campaigns among end-users and the equipment distribution chain (e.g. wholesalers, supermarkets, large building operators) could promote the training need and facilitate an exchange of best practices. It is especially important to address the existing geographic imbalances in the availability of training. A wider and longer impact could be achieved by train-the-trainer programmes.

Under the 2018 call, proposals focusing on the work area of improving the uptake of climate- friendly technologies and working on the development of additional technical specifications for the installation and operation of flammable alternatives, in particular hydrocarbons, in relevant standards for refrigeration and air conditioning technologies, in support of the on- going standard setting process, are particularly requested.

5. Climate policy monitoring, assessment and ex-post evaluation

Applicants can propose projects building coordination platforms on climate policy monitoring, assessment and ex-post evaluation in order to support the development of cost-effective climate action, both on mitigation and adaptation. Those projects need to have concrete implementation measures.

Proposals shall focus especially on the following work area:
A key challenge for the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector is the collection or estimation of robust carbon data from forests, wetlands and soils in order to enable transparent reporting and accounting. It is therefore important to test and implement solutions building or strengthening the capacity to: use spatially-explicit geographical data, exploiting existing EU and national data collection systems (such as LUCAS, LPIS/IACS and Copernicus), for the identification and tracking of land use and land use change; monitor and estimate carbon stocks and fluxes in forests, wetlands and agricultural land at local, regional and cross-regional level; monitor and communicate on the loss and degradations of carbon storage (such as grassland loss, degradation and restoration of former and existing wetlands and peatlands).

6. Best practices and awareness raising activities addressing adaptation needs Applicants can propose projects targeting specific work areas under this policy area:

 Projects targeting the development and use of practicable and meaningful adaptation indicators and monitoring systems and the uptake of climate services in adaptation planning at local level ('downscaling of climate impacts');

 Best practice and awareness raising projects focusing on understanding the economic and social impacts as well as costs and effectiveness of adaptation and implementing concrete actions to address such impacts and costs;

 Integration of climate change adaptation into the disaster risk management cycle: establishing coordination platforms and initiatives, best practice and awareness raising projects on integrating long term climate planning in disaster risk assessments, developing common indicators or using loss data as evidence base for policy-making.



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