Hungary has made progress on greening its economy and now needs to raise its ambitions

Orban Hungary 2018

From left to right: Mr Donald TUSK, President of the European Council; Mr Viktor ORBAN, Hungarian Prime Minister. Shoot location: Budapest – HUNGARY Shoot date: 07/02/2018 Copyright: European Union

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.

Hungary has made progress in greening its economy and cutting emissions, but it needs to speed up efforts to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, improve energy efficiency in buildings and promote sustainable transport, according to a new OECD Review.

The OECD’s third Environmental Performance Review of Hungary says more also needs to be done to address air and water pollution. The level of exposure in Hungary to air pollution from particulate matter is among the highest of OECD countries. Nearly four in 10 people have poor quality drinking water, and almost a third of the population is not connected to public wastewater treatment facilities.

The Review says that while Hungary has strengthened its environmental laws, their implementation has been hindered by frequent institutional changes and fragmentation of national-level responsibilities following successive administrative reorganisations. It recommends making environmental goals more ambitious, stepping up the enforcement of regulations, bringing water management back under the same roof as environmental management, and regrouping staff working on compliance and inspection under one authority.

“Rising industrial activity and energy consumption are intensifying pressures on Hungary’s environment. Yet the economic rebound is an opportunity to invest more in energy efficiency and renewables, to accelerate the transition to green growth and a circular economy,” said Acting Environment Director Anthony Cox, presenting the Review in Budapest.

Fossil fuels make up around two thirds of Hungary’s energy supply. Greenhouse gas emissions have started rising again, after dropping 35% from 1990 to 2015, driven by transport and, to a lesser extent, agriculture. The level of car ownership in Hungary is growing fast from a low base, and taxes on road fuels are among the lowest in the OECD.

Residential housing is Hungary’s biggest consumer of energy, with some 80% of buildings lacking modern, efficient heating systems. The report says that introducing energy efficiency measures in new buildings could reduce related energy consumption by more than half.

The use of solid fuel, including general waste such as unwanted furniture, in household heating systems is a major source of air pollution. Emissions of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) are rising fast, and the average exposure of people in Hungary is more than twice the World Health Organisation’s guideline limits.

Hungary has made good progress on biodiversity. The conservation status of most habitats and species has improved in recent years and Hungary now protects over 22% of its land and inland waters, well above internationally agreed targets. However, as in much of Europe, pressures are still high with 62% of species in an unfavourable state. More will need to be done to reduce pressures from land use change, habitat fragmentation, pollution, invasive species and climate change.

Recommendations in the Review include:

  • Introduce more efficient and less polluting heating and cooling systems and better insulation of buildings
  • Establish a process for systematically reviewing environmentally harmful subsidies
  • Phase out heating subsidies in favour of cash transfers to poor households
  • Increase opportunities for meaningful public participation in environmental rulemaking
  • Connect more rural areas to public waste water treatment facilities
  • Implement additional incentives for municipalities to improve waste management and continue increasing the landfill tax that was frozen in 2014
  • Introduce biodiversity specific commitments and indicators for the energy, transport, tourism, industry and mining sectors

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

China is among the 20 most innovative economies for the first time

Eurozone needs more than some decimals of growth

This forgotten chemical element could be the key to our green energy future

Joint U.S.-EU Statement following President Juncker’s visit to the White House

Thai citizenship means ‘dream of a brighter future’ for cave rescue boys, says UN Refugee Agency

Trump rejects Europe’s offer for zero car tariffs; he had personally tabled that idea in July

Eurozone: Bank resolution proposal gains wider interest

MWC 2016 LIVE: CEOs issue rallying call to drive ‘gigabit economy’

A renewed agenda for Research and Innovation: Europe’s chance to shape the future

EU and US close to an agreement on data sharing amid European citizens’ concerns

We lack a global framework for saving our environment. Here’s how we change that

Driving structural change through global value chains integration

EU summit: No energy against tax evasion and fraud

10 things Europe does better than the rest of the world

One Day in Beijing

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

TTIP’s 11th round major takeaways and the usual “leaked” document

EU Summit/Migration: Parliament calls for joint solutions based on solidarity

German and French bankers looted the Irish and Spanish unemployed

6 ways to ensure AI and new tech works for – not against – humanity

Why Italy will not follow the Greek road; Eurozone to change or unravel

UN chemical weapons watchdog adds new powers to assign blame, following attacks

Backed by UN agency, countries set to take on deadly livestock-killing disease

Why sustainable products are a win-win for all of us

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

How close is the new financial Armageddon? IMF gives some hints

Obama turns the G20 summit into warmongering platform

The role of junior entrepreneurs as a bridge between academia and business world

UN agriculture agency digs in to help forests and farms build resilience to climate change

Education and Training: where do we stand in 2014?

Germany and France only care about keeping their borrowing cheap

Assault on key Yemeni port would endanger 300,000 children and ‘choke off’ aid for millions more: UNICEF chief

Knowledge management and entrepreneurship: short term vs. long term perspective

Scotland in United Kingdom: It’s either the end or the beginning of the end

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Carbon Price Needed for Climate Change Success

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Presentation of Juncker’s Investment Plan: Can 315 billion euros save the EU?

More answers from Facebook ahead of Parliament hearing today

Press conference by EC Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis (left) and Jyrki Katainen, on the Commission's proposals in the framework of the financial union (Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: EU, 2018 / Photo by Georges Boulougouris)

EU Finance ministers agree on new banking capital rules and move closer to Banking Union

A critical European young voice on Net Neutrality: the distance between Brussels and Washington

FROM THE FIELD: Sailing a traditional and sustainable path in Fiji’s tropical waters

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change-the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, yet overlooked in climate negotiations?” IFMSA wonders from COP21 in Paris

Cultural diversity can drive economies. Here are lessons from India and South Asia

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

World Population Day: ‘A matter of human rights’ says UN

MWC 2016 LIVE: EC adds Brazil to partner tally

At Ministerial session, UN regional office in Beirut to focus on technology for sustainable development

This robot has soft hands. It could be the future of sustainable production

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

Eurozone recession subsides

Use space technology to build a better world for all, urges UN chief

The European Brain Drain: a truth or a myth?

EU seeks foreign support on 5G from Mobile World Congress 2015 as the “digital gold rush” begins

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

Sub10 Systems @ MWC14: Bridging the Ethernet of the Future

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

Three scenarios for the future of geopolitics

‘No steps taken’ so far to end Israel’s illegal settlement activity on Palestinian land – UN envoy

Trade, entrepreneurship and the future of ASEAN’s economy

Czech Babis, Austrian Kurz and others threaten Europe with nationalist populism

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s