LIFE is the EU funding instrument for the environment and climate action. Managed directly by the EU Commission, it seeks to contribute towards sustainable development and to facilitate the achievement of the so called Europe 2020 Strategy, the 7th Union Environmental Action Programme and other relevant EU environment and climate strategies and plans.

The fund is divided into two strands the environmental and the climate. The former includes the "nature & biodiversity" measures which finances conservation actions within Natura 2000 areas for the safeguarding and protection of habitats and species. The ‘Environment’ branch of the new programme also covers to other priority areas: environment and resource efficiency; and environmental governance and information. Projects under this strand have covered, amongst others, air & noise, energy, electro-mobility, environmental management, industry-production, land-use & planning, risk management, services & commerce; waste and water. The ‘Climate Action’ strand covers climate change mitigation; climate change adaptation; and climate governance and information.

In 2013, the EU agreed to a budget of €3.4 billion to be allocated under two multiannual programme. In November 2017, the multiannual work programme covering in 2018-2020 was adopted, specifying what kind of projects can receive support within sub-programmes for Environment and Climate Action. In total, €1 243.81 million will be earmarked for work on nature conservation and environmental protection, and a further €413.25 million for climate action.