Last update:11 Jan 2017
|National adaptation strategy||Being adopted|
|Action plans||Adopted, being developed||
|Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments||completed, being developed|
|Research programs||Currently being undertaken|
|Climate services / Met Office||Established|
|Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies||Being developed||
|Training and education resources|
|National Communication to the UNFCCC||• Last Nat Com Submitted (2014)||
In June 2003 the Hungarian Ministry of Environment and Water and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences launched a joint research project, called VAHAVA, under the title of "Global climate change, Hungarian impacts and responses". The project was finished in 2007 with the preparation of the VAHAVA Report, which was implemented in the period 2003-2006 with some follow-up activities during 2007-2008. Based on these multidisciplinary scientific efforts, a network has been developed and the updated and extended version of the Report "climate change and Hungary: mitigating the hazard and preparing for the impacts" was also published.
The Climate Change Act 2007 (Act LV) based on the implementation framework of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol created a framework for building Hungary's ability to adapt to climate change. It prescribed the preparation of a national climate change strategy for Hungary and in 2008, a National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS) was accepted by Parliament Decree 29/2008 (III. 20.). The NCCS contains an extensive chapter on both mitigation and adaptation and identifies key objectives and actions to be implemented for 2008-2025. The Climate Change Act 2007 also required that the Hungarian Government adopt National Climate Change Programmes (NCCP) every two years. The first NCCP was approved for 2009 and 2010 and reviewed in 2011.
The first revision of the NCCS mandated by the Climate Change Act 2007 was finished in 2013 and it has been submitted to the Hungarian Parliament. The revised version determines the timeline of the strategy from 2014 to 2025, with an outlook to 2050. The National Adaptation Strategy and the Low Carbon Development Strategy will be adopted as part of the second NCCS. This will provide further information on climate change science, observations and sectoral impact assessments. In this connection, a robust metadata base, called the National Adaptation Geographical Information System (NAGIS) is currently in progress. This system will be the first comprehensive, countrywide tool to provide high-resolution results of quantified expected trends and the associated uncertanity of local and regional exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity for different hazards. It will also provide input data for spatial and sectoral vulnerability studies.
The Third National Environmental Action Programme was adopted by the Parliament in 2009 for the period of 2009-2014 and it includes a thematic (sub)programme dedicated to the problems and tasks related to climate change. It specifically deals with both mitigation and adaptation issues.
The Committee on Environmental Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2009 adopted a "Statement on the Climate Change and on the Related Tasks in Hungary". Besides other important areas, this document also refers to the anticipated impacts and necessary actions in order to decrease vulnerability and strengthen adaptive capacities.
The 6th National Communication ont he UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has been submitted on 08.01.2014, which provides imformations on national circumstances, policies and measures, vulnerability assessment, public awareness and any other details.
It is the Climate Policy Department of the Ministry of National Development which is responsible for climate change adaptation within the current public administration structure. The Hungarian Working Group of Climate Change is an interministerial body, the role of which is to provide advice, analysis, information and other assistance in the implementation of the Climate Change Act 2007. The Working Group meets 2-4 times a year.
Reporting on national adaptation actions
The new National Adaptation Strategy of Hungary will be adopted by the Hungarian Parliament in 2016 as the part of the second National Climate Change Strategy (2013-2025, with an outlook to 2050), which also contains the review of the first National Adaptation Strategy, that was adopted by the Hungarian Parliament in 2008 and is currently in force.
Following adoption, the strategy will be elaborated by the Climate Change Action Plan, after which it will be possible to report on the implementation of – and progress on the goals of the strategy.
The current NCCS contains projections and incentives concerning adaptation in the following sectors:
- natural environment
- water management
- agriculture, crop and livestock management, forest management
- regional development
- human/built environment
The revised NCCS will further develop adaptation in the fields of regional development, urban planning, green infrastructure, critical infrastructure and tourism.
The Hungarian Meteorological Service (HMS) operates the network for observations and measurements, which are considered indispensable elements of past and present climate investigations. The quality control and data homogenisation of the long-term observation series are essential tasks of the HMS to secure reliable information on changes. The HMS (Regional Climate Modelling Group), together with the Eötvös Loránd University's Department of Meteorology, applies four regional climate models (RCMs) to provide an assessment of climate change impacts in the Carpathian Basin and to quantify the expected trends and the associated uncertainty. The model simulations with the four RCMs were achieved using the A1B (moderate) scenario and the results are available for the periods of 1961–1990, 2021–2050 and 2071–2100.
The health impact of climate change was studied within the frameworks of NEHAP by the National Institute of Environmental Health, and by the research group "Adaptation to Climate Change" of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, with multicentre studies funded by the European Commission (PHEWE, EuroHEAT). The studies assessed the impact of heat on human health in the capital and the neighbouring county. The predictable impact of climate-related heatwaves on excess mortality was assessed by applying regional climate models of the ENSEMBLES project. A framework was elaborated to assess the vulnerability of sensitive population groups and a heat health watch warning system has been in operation in Hungary since 2005. The Solar Protection Scientific Body aims to decrease UV risks, which goes hand in hand with preparing the Hungarian population to the effects of heat waves. The climate change related educational material of the initiative has been supported by the Hungarian Red Cross and the Institute of Sociology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
The Institute of Ecology and Botany of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences prepared a vulnerability assessment for the natural ecosystems in Hungary.
Research related to sectoral and spatial vulnerability is also conducted at Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), Department of Environmental Economics in the framework of the ESPON Climate Project. The Department, VÁTI and some Romanian and Slovakian partners developed the vulnerability assessment of the Tisza river valley. Another research study was aimed at assessing the climate change vulnerability of Hungarian Tourism Regions. In the light of this project a Hungarian climate friendly tourism strategy was prepared.
Further research includes the examination of national environmental status with special attention to climate change (MEH-MTA research project between 2007-2010). The 4-Year Programme of Hungarian Regional Development Policy to Prevent the Adverse Effects of Climate Change (2010-2013) was prepared by VÁTI. : The in-depth evaluation of climate change effects and recommendations for mitigation and adaptation measures prepared in two special regions of Hungary (the Danube Riverside, the Danube-Tisza interfluvial region) were also delivered as a result of the programme implementation in 2010.
The Climate Policy Department of the Ministry of National Development and the Alliance of Hungarian Insurance Companies have gathered information on loss and damages linked to climate extremes in the field of agriculture. The research will be extended to other sectors with future forecasts within the framework of the review of the NCCS.
The monitoring of progress or possibly an appraisal of effectiveness/efficiency of adaptation will be provided by the bi-annual NCCPs.
Several cities in Hungary have developed their own local climate change strategy. The Hungarian Alliance of Climate-Friendly Cities initiated by the Institute of Sociology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is a partnership of local governments and NGOs providing technical advice, tools, case studies and information to cities on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Currently, it has 27 Hungarian member cities and all of them have prepared or started to prepare their local climate change strategies. The following cities have adopted local climate change strategies: Tatabánya, Hosszúhetény, Pomáz, Albertirsa, Eger, Szekszárd, Tata, XII. and XIII districts of Budapest, Gyöngyös, Veszprém and Szombathely.
For the Hungarian Government, one of the priority issues of urban development is climate change. The effects and the emerging problems associated with climate change are particularly felt in urban areas. The CLIMATE-FRIENDLY CITIES – A Handbook on the Tasks and Possibilities of European Cities in Relation to Climate Change supports European cities and towns in their combat against climate change by widening the European knowledge base. The Handbook was prepared on the initiative of the Hungarian EU Presidency in cooperation with several European countries and cities (Hungarian Ministry of Interior – VÁTI).
An expert team coordinated by the Hungarian Society for Urban Planning with expertise from VÁTI Hungarian Regional Development and Urban Planning Nonprofit Ltd., several Hungarian universities, and the HMS prepared a Guide on Climate Friendly Urban Policies for local governments.
Some of the individual cities' actions listed in the above handbook and the links to their climate change strategies and other achievements are as follows: