Climate Change

The REC supports efforts to respond to the challenges of climate change, including both mitigation and adaptation. Topic area activities are aimed at decreasing climate-related risks to ecosystems and economies; increasing the efficient use of energy and the proportion of green energy; and paving the way towards a low-carbon society. The REC aims to increase the awareness of sub-national and local governments, to mobilise them in the context of international efforts, to identify their needs and channel them before national and international government bodies, and to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices.

  • Team
  • Activities
  • Selected projects

Activities implemented by the Climate Change Topic Area are aimed at facilitating the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol in CEE and Turkey, and at contributing to the shaping of the post-2012 climate policy regime by:

  • Assessing capacity-building needs in the region and communicating the results to the international climate change community.
  • Promoting the carbon market within the Kyoto framework and beyond.
  • Assessing mitigation potential, in particular in the energy sector.
  • Raising the profile of adaptation issues in the region.
  • Assessing the implications of the post-2012 commitments for the region.
  • Enhancing regional activities under Article 6 of the UNFCCC (awareness raising, international cooperation, education and training) through the REC serving as Regional Focal Point.

The main areas of activity are:

  • Acting as Regional Focal Point for Article 6 of the UNFCCC in relation to education, training and awareness raising. 
  • Capacity building for national and local governmental institutions to achieve compliance with international and national rules and obligations.
  • Administering NGO grants.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of climate and energy policies/strategies.
  • Promoting the carbon markets of the flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol, as well as those outside the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Fostering the deployment of sustainable energies.
  • Carrying out research on adaptation to climate change and promoting national adaptation policies.
  • Facilitating stakeholder dialogue through workshops and meetings.
  • Disseminating information to stakeholders through events and publications.
  • Performing outreach and organisational work in the target countries.

Projects implemented by the topic area:

  • Identify capacity-building needs;
  • Communicate those needs to the international climate change community;
  • Support the development of policies and measures  to achieve compliance with GHG emission reduction targets;
  • Provide a forum for stakeholder dialogue;
  • Strengthen regional cooperation;
  • Foster the exchange of good practices and experience; 
  • Promote transparency and public participation in climate-related decision making.


The climate change team comprises experts from diverse backgrounds, including the natural sciences, economics, environmental policy, and engineering. Each team member has a specific area of expertise and works in close cooperation with colleagues from other topic areas as well as with a regional network of experts.

The unique combination of skills and expertise within the REC’s climate change team enables a multi-disciplinary approach to the process of assistance in climate-related decision making throughout CEE and Turkey. Since 1999, the team has provided assistance in the implementation of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol to various stakeholders in the climate change process in Central Europe, SEE and, starting from 2005, Turkey.

The climate change team is headed by Zsuzsanna Ivanyi, an internationally experienced senior expert on climate change. She has a PhD in meteorology, and is involved in climate modelling and the assessment of impacts. The team is made up of the following experts:

  • Zsuzsanna Ivanyi, Senior Expert: (zivanyi at
  • Judit Balint, Expert: (jbalint at
  • Maria Khovanskaya, Expert: (mkhova at
  • Gamze Celikyilmaz-Aydemir, Junior Expert: (gaydemir at

  • Capacity Building for the Implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol in Balkan Stability Pact Countries
  • Capacity Building on Climate Change in the Republic of Serbia
  • Current and Future Trends in Renewable Energy Promotion Policies in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Dissemination of the ZeroCarbonCity Campaign in Turkey
  • Intelligent Energy-Saving Measures for Municipal Housing in Central and Eastern Europe (INTENSE)
  • Kyoto in the Home: Environmental Education in the Czech Republic
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) Secretariat for Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey
  • Strengthening Cooperation between Bulgarian and Macedonian Industries on the Implementation of Environmental Management Systems
  • Support to Activities of the European Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change, and the Drafting of an Action Plan for the Regional Focal Point of Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Support to the Shaping of the Post-Kyoto Climate Regime
  • Workshop on the Development of a Green Investment Scheme

More projects
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