Environmental Financing

The Environmental Financing Topic Area provides assistance on strategic environmental investment planning; investment project preparation; the design and improvement of financing mechanisms; and the promotion of environmental integration in EU funds at the level of programming, planning and use.

By raising awareness of the environmental implications of EU spending, our goal is to identify tools and methods for increasing environmental and climate change resilience at the level of programming, planning and the use of funds.

  • Team
  • Activities
  • Selected projects

The main focus of activities is on:

  • Assistance in strategic environmental investment planning.
  • Assistance in environmental investment project preparation.
  • Providing services for improving the functioning of water and waste utilities.
  • Assistance in the design and improvement of the practices of environmental financing institutional mechanisms such as environmental funds.
  • Studying and designing innovative economic instruments.
  • Promoting the integration of sustainable development in EU funds, as well as national and regional development funds.
  • Promoting the environmental accountability of IFIs.
  • Assisting EU regions in making the shift towards a low-carbon economy.
  • Promoting the use of clean fuels and vehicles in the CEE region.

The REC’s environmental financing topic area supports strategic environmental investment planning through capacity building and by establishing cooperation frameworks, networks and communication channels among environmental decision makers (ministries of environment, national and regional environmental authorities, infrastructure project proponents, as well as international financing institutions).

Through regional cooperation, we aim to promote an EU-wide shift to climate-friendly low-carbon economies.


The team consists of six full-time experts in environmental financing and environmental economics based at the HO. Around ten additional experts from SEE regularly contribute to project implementation. The team also relies on the network of REC country offices in the new EU member states. The team is headed by Ruslan Zhechkov, senior expert in environmental financing.

Our main experts are:

  • Ruslan Zhechkov (rzhechkov at rec.org) 
  • Venelina Varbova (vvarbova at rec.org) 
  • Dusan Sevic (dsevic at rec.org) 
  • Ellen Baltzar (ebaltzar at rec.org) 
  • Dora Almassy (dalmassy at rec.org) 
  • Raisa Gerasina (rgerasina at rec.org) 

For more information please contact Ellen Baltzar (ebaltzar at rec.org).

  • Phasing out Leaded Fuel in Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Priority Environmental Investment Programme for South Eastern Europe
  • Support to the Establishment of Regional Waste Management Centres in North West Croatia and Eastern Slavonia
  • Training for Public and Private Fleet Managers in Central and Eastern Europe on the UNEP Cleaner Fleet Management Toolkit

More projects
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