Hungary remains among the very low performers, at 53rd in this year’s CCPI. While Hungary receives a low rating in the GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, and Energy Use categories, it is a very low in Climate Policy, among the bottom three countries.
The CCPI experts note a substantially decreased performance in the country’s climate policy at the national level. There are no practical signs that the Hungarian government is committed to reducing GHG emissions in line with the EU target. The experts emphasise that the government has taken several steps to the contrary, including an increase of certain fossil fuel subsidies. The experts call for greater ambition across all relevant policy areas.
Detrimental consequences of wood burning
In renewable energy, the experts report a solar subsidy scheme, which had substantially increased the installation and use of solar panels. However, the scheme was suspended because of insufficient grid connections. Meanwhile, the expansion of wind power has been blocked by law since 2016.
The experts also criticise the high share of biomass, biogas, and biofuels in renewable energy by 2030 per Hungary’s National Energy and Climate Plan. Waste incineration in power plants is also considered renewable. The experts emphasise the numerous detrimental consequences of wood burning, especially in households, and of waste burning in households (illegal but tolerated and widespread per the experts). The consequences include very high black carbon emissions (a climate-forcing agent with extremely high global warming potential) and toxic fumes detrimental to health.
Political discrimination against environmental NGOs
In August 2022, the Hungarian government adopted a new decree permitting the clearcutting of forests even in protected areas. This threatens important carbon sinks and detrimentally influences agricultural production, jeopardising food security.
The experts also note political discrimination against environmental NGOs, which prevents information (such as on household heating problems) provided by such NGOs from being published. Internationally, Hungary has been noted for blocking EU climate policies.
The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI:
- András Lukács (Clean Air Action Group)
- Adam Harmat (WWF Hungary)
- István Bart (Climate Strategy 2050 Institute)