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National circumstances relevant to adaptation actions

Hungary is situated in the heart of the Carpathian basin on 93 036 km2. Because its location (plain surrounded by mountains) its territory is more vulnerable to climate change's negative effects. The majority of the country's terrain lies under 200 meters (84%), and only 2% of the country is located above 400 meters. The territory belongs to the catchment areas of the Danube (417 km). The fact that 95% of the surface water arrives from the neighbouring countries has a huge influence on Hungary. As a remarkable consequence, the floodplains covered 25% of the territory. Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, also located in Hungary. Among some other large and shallow lakes such as Ferto Lake, Velencei Lake and the Lake Balaton is really vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The country had a forest coverage of 20.8% in 2019.

Most of the territory of Carpathian basin created Pannonian biogeographical region. Due to the isolation from other geographical regions, unique flora and fauna evolved in the area, including several endemic and relictum endemic species. Many of these species can not be found in any other places in the world. Around 42 000 animal species and 3 000 plant species are identified in the territory.

Hungary has a moderate climate with a significant continental influence. According to the Hungarian Meteorological Service (HMS) long-term statistics and the National Adaptation Geo-information System's data, the average mean annual temperature of the region has increased by 1.23 C° between 1901 and 2018. This increase is far higher than the estimated 0.9 C° mean annual temperature on the global scale. Nowadays, the mean annual temperature in Hungary is 10.3 C° on average. Any differences from that temperature are typical only in smaller areas where topographical factors determine that.

Annual precipitation is 590 mm on average, considering the normal period of 1981–2010. Even the precipitation dispersion shows a really diverse pattern in space and time. On a seasonal scale, the average precipitation is 140 mm in spring, 200 mm in summer, 145 mm in autumn, and 110 mm in winter. The spatial distribution of precipitation is determined by the seas' distance, primarily the Mediterranean Sea and topology. In the small regions which are the driest in the Hungarian Great Plains, some areas have annual precipitation less than 500 mm, and there are vast regions that have multiannual average precipitation of 500-550 mm. The typical precipitation in the southwestern border region and the Bakony Mountains is higher than 700 mm. Higher, nearly 800 mm precipitation occurs in small spots only near the Mátra and Bükk Mountains summits and the Koszeg Mountain.

No clear change can be demonstrated in the annual precipitation, even in a period of half a century. Intensity of rain events are constantly increasing, the daily precipitation is increasing, while the number of rainy days is in decline. In the last more than fifty years, the series shows a slight, approximately 5% non-significant increase on the country average between 1961 and 2018.

Information about vulnerability of natural resources is available in the NAGiS. https://nater.mbfsz.gov.hu/en
According to the HCSO's (Hungarian Central Statistical Office) statistics, Hungary has 9.73 million inhabitants in 2021. They are living in 3155 settlements, including 346 cities and 2809 municipalities. Every third municipality has less than 500 inhabitants. At the same time, only 3% of the population lives in these small villages. Around 17.9% of the population, 1.75 million inhabitants live in Budapest. Hungary's capital city is a primate city and far larger than the second-largest city Debrecen (201 432 inhabitants, 2019). Meanwhile, Szeged, Miskolc, and Pécs also had more than 150 thousand inhabitants in 2019. According to the 2011 census, the urbanization level was 69.5%. Related to vulnerability the urban areas are among the most affected areas of climate change (e.g., heat waves, urban heat islands).

Hungary’s society is aging, there is an increasing rate of people over 65 years in society which results a higher vulnerable to climate change's negative effects (e.g., heat waves, cold waves). The life expectancy of men was 72.9 and women's life expectancy 76.2 years in 2020. There are regional differences in life expectancy between the more developed districts in western counties and the less developed northeastern and southeastern peripheries.

There are also significant spatial differences in income conditions (and in other general socio-economic indicators), which also effects adaptive capacity. Differences within the country can be described partly by geographical factors: Northern-Hungary and Southern Transdanubia regions typically have worse socio-economic indicators than Central and Western Hungary, but also the distance from regional cities and Budapest is an important factor. Socio-economic disadvantage is typically associated with lower adaptive capacity.
The climate change cannot be separated from the issues of society, economy or environmental policy, thus it should be addressed in line with sustainable development. From the point of view of adaptation, the fact that certain areas of the country have different economic development must be taken into account. Related to this, the distribution of economic and infrastructural facilities is uneven. To the assessment of economic and infrastructural situation several relevant sectors need to be examined. The vulnerability analysis of several affected sectors is available in NAGiS.

The water demand for agriculture is increasing because droughts have become more frequent. Due to the increasing annual mean temperature the water demand is increasing during the crop production. Additionally, due to the increasing evaporation, the demand for irrigation is increasing. The sustainable water management of underground waters, the avoidance of overuse, and the insurance of water supply of underground waters are equally important for responding to increasing demand for irrigation sustainably. The industry also has an increasing demand for cooling water due to increasing annual mean temperature. Simultaneously, the safety of residential drinking water and irrigation supply is also an important challenge. Due to the more frequent and longer droughts, the demand for irrigation water is increasing. This phenomenon puts under pressure the underground waters and the infrastructure of water supply systems.

In Hungary, agriculture is one of the sectors that are most vulnerable to climate change. The largest challenge that the agriculture faces is the increase in the chances of drought. The large quantity and diversity of risks underline this fact, such as the increased probability of floods and groundwater floods, flood-like rains, mud avalanches, landslides, soil erosion. According to the shift of wind systems, wind storms, wind erosion can also be a problem. Early and late frost, frost damage also can be a risk to the food supply. Furthermore forestfires, wildfires, stubble fires also can be dangerous, especially during drought periods. The appearance of new pathogens, pests, and weeds; increasing hazardousness of certain pests that are indigenous to Hungary but have been only of minor significance so far; influences the yield reduction. The spatial disperses of these hazards is introduced by NAGiS.

Furthermore, the infrastructural and public utility security, industrial security, and ecological security is also vital to adaptation.

Metropolitan areas such as Budapest are particularly vulnerable areas related to climate change. Due to the effect of urban heat islands cities are more affected by the heat waves, which has negative consequences on human health. An increasing frequency of asphalt damage can be expected in the summer month also. The increasing wind speed and the expected increase in the frequency of wind storms means a direct, physical source of danger for urban infrastructure and humans. The more frequent occurrence of sudden rainfalls with high yield in precipitation must be expected all over the country. The two most dominant changes, warming and extremes of increasing frequency and intensity, affect cities and villages in many ways. The increase in the frequency of floods and storms also endangers the elements of surface transport infrastructure and underground transport in the lower parts of the city, floodplains, along watercourses. In the case of flood defense embankments, bulging, buzzards and subsoil flow can damage the infrastructure. Sudden precipitation can sometimes lead to landslides. The more durable and drought impairs the stability of the same structures through subsidence. High buildings are also affected by floods, extreme rainfalls and extremely endangered by wind speeds, with the adverse effects of extreme daily and annual temperature fluctuations and frequent changes in freezing / thawing.

Increasing risks can be identified in energy transmission systems and public utility services. The increasing frequency of storms accompanied by strong wind blows can heavily damage the linear elements of electrical infrastructural networks. For the energy providers the changes in energy demand (caused by climate change) can be also challenging.

Tourism – as an important economic sector – has high exposure to the effects of climate change because it is strongly related to geographical and climatic circumstances. On the one hand, the climatic elements would be valuable resources for the sector. On the other hand, climate change would have a huge effect on outdoor activities such as cultural heritage tourism, active tourism, beach tourism, and city-break tourism.

Reporting updated until: 2021-03-12

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy (NAS)
  • actual NAS - adopted
National adaptation plan (NAP)
  • actual NAP - adopted
Sectoral adaptation plan (SAP)
Climate change impact and vulnerability assessment
  • completed
  • completed
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Established
  • Being developed
Adaptation portals and platforms
  • Established
Monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) indicators and methodologies
Key reports and publications
National communication to the UNFCCC
Governance regulation adaptation reporting
The Hungarian Meteorological Service (OMSZ) is responsible for collecting, processing and providing meteorological data and information. In order to provide the continuous and detailed monitoring of the state of the atmosphere and meteorological parameters, OMSZ are performed surface measurements, observations and upper-air monitoring; made atmospheric physical measurements, and operated different remote sensing techniques: weather radars, windprofilers, lightning detection networks, satellite receivers. The conditions are provided for the processing and transmission the collection of measurement data to the central database. OMSZ duties include the regular inspection, maintenance and calibration of various measuring instruments and automatic equipment.

Within the framework of the CARPATCLIM project, digital climate atlas of the Carpathian region has been completed, which provides daily meteorological data about the period 1961-2010. Gridded database created by the interpolating MISH (Meteorological Interpolation based on Surface Homogenized Data Basis) and the homogenising MASH (Multiple Analysis of Series for Homogenization) methods of 16 meteorological elements for the period 1961-2010, in a 0.1° resolution grid.

CARPATCLIM database has been extended in the National Adaptation Geo-information System (NAGiS), operated by Mining and Geological Service of Hungary (MBFSZ). The database, called CARPATCLIM-HU is available the whole territory of Hungary.

An open data policy has been introduced on January 1st 2021 in Hungary, for this reason, OMSZ provided, on the open data server called Meteorological Database (https://www.odp.met.hu/), the observation and measurement data, forecasts of the driven models, and other weather and climate information for free of charge and use.

Meteorological Database including but not limited to:
• daily resolution, raw and homogenized data set of 10 stations for the variables minimum, maximum and average temperature, and precipitation for 1901-2019;
• 10-minute, hourly, daily and monthly data of all automatic stations currently until 2020;
• daily precipitation data for all precipitation measuring stations (~700) currently until 2020;
• homogenised, grid-interpolated data set at daily and 0.1 ° resolution. Variables available from 1971 to the end of 2019: minimum, maximum and average temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, sea level air pressure. Variables available from 2001 to the end of 2019: global radiation, maximum wind gust, average wind.

Two RCMs are applied at the OMSZ and two RCMs at the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) Department of Meteorology in order to examine the potential future climate change over Hungary and the Carpathian Basin. The use of two models provides basic possibility to quantify the projection uncertainties.

OMSZ applied ALADIN-Climate and REMO:
• ALADIN-Climate: developed at the Météo France within an international cooperation. It is a combination of ARPEGE-Climat general circulation model and the ALADIN weather prediction model. In 2015, model version 4.5 was updated to 5.2 at OMSZ.
• REMO: developed at the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg with the combination of ECHAM4 general circulation model and the earlier weather prediction model (Europa Model) of the German Weather Service. Version 5.0 is currently in use at OMSZ.

Future projections are evaluated mainly for two periods: 2021–2050 as support for the planning for the next few decades, while 2071–2100 is used for long-term adaptation strategies. In the REMO 5.0 and ALADIN-Climate 4.5 experiments the medium SRES A1B, while for the ALADIN-Climate 5.2 simulation the high-emission RCP 8.5 scenarios were used.

ELTE applied RegCM and PRECIS:
• RegCM: available through the Trieste Theoretical Physical Research Institute (ICTP). It performed 0.1° horizontal resolution grid. Global model from Max Planck Institute in Hamburg, ECHAM5 provided the initial and boundary conditions.
• PRECIS: developed at the Hadley Center in British Meteorological Service, HadCM3 provided the initial and boundary conditions. It performed 0.25° horizontal resolution grid.

In RegCM experiments the SRES A1B scenario were used for three periods: between 1961-1990, 2021-2050, and 2071-2100. In the RegCM4.3 experiments the middle optimistic RCP4.5 and the pessimistic RCP 8.5 scenarios were used.

The National Adaptation Geo-information System (NAGiS) was established between 2013 and 2016. It provides a harmonized basis for the adaptation studies using the RCM results of OMSZ and ELTE as inputs for the quantitative climate impact assessments. In the framework of NAGiS, sectoral impact assessment studies are coordinated to support the adaptation to climate change impacts and related decision making in Hungary. These impact assessments are based on the future climate projections given by the simulation results of ALADIN-Climate and RegCM RCMs.

In the development of the NAGiS, four climate model simulations were used from the EURO-CORDEX database. Simulations were created with the RCA4 regional climate model which used data as threshold conditions from the CNRM-CM5 and EC-EARTH global models, and were based on two scenarios, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Climate model data have the spatial resolution of 0.11°.
The study of climate change based on general circulation models that take into account both the atmosphere and other elements of the climate system. Although with the improvement of the representation of atmospheric and surface processes and the increased computational capacity, these global models have a great development in the century, but the horizontal spatial resolution of most of them only a few hundred kilometres. In this resolution, the effects of local forcings, such as complex topography or surface quality, which are important in the development of micro-regional climate conditions, cannot be detected.

Although regional scaling methods improve the resolution of the results of GCMs by taking into account processes on a regional scale, systematic errors incorporated the RCM results from the input data. The uncertainties due to modelling limitations of physical processes are increasing with the improvement of the spatial resolution. Much of the uncertainties in climate projections are deriving from the setup of models, which is transferred from GCMs to the regional level. Uncertainties arising from the description of greenhouse gas emissions, internal variability and non-linear nature of climate system, and scaling method is also contributed to this.

We need to describe the uncertainties of regional climate projections where it is possible, and reduce them to provide useful information for climate impact assessments. For this, ensemble technique can be used, taking into account the sources of uncertainty, we prepare a series of climate model simulations. With this method, we can assign probability estimation to climate projections. The larger a number of ensemble members, the more accurate our estimate will be.

The CORDEX database is suitable for assessing climate change on a probabilistic basis, as it contains data from several comparable climate simulations. Therefore, applied simulations in the NAGiS were also selected by ensemble analysis from the CORDEX database. Four climate model simulations were selected with ensemble method from the database European domain, called EURO-CORDEX. With these simulations and with the ALADIN-Climate and RegCM model results, we are also suitable for probabilistic evaluation.

The deficit of proper IT background is a common problem, although it is essential for climate modelling, storing climate model results and ensuring their later use.
A systematic evaluation of climate impact measurement has begun in Hungary. To assess the territorial differences of climate change effects, the Second National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS-2) of Hungary recommends the methodology of vulnerability assessment. The aim of vulnerability assessment is to explore and detect the extent each region and settlement is vulnerable to the expected impacts of climate change. The first comprehensive initiative to assess climate impacts and estimate future vulnerabilities is the National Adaptation Geoinformation System (hereinafter referred to as: NAGiS).
Observed climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Heat wave
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Storm (including blizzards dust and sandstorms)
  • Changing wind patterns
Water
  • Heavy precipitation (rain hail snow/ice)
  • Water scarcity
Solid mass
  • Subsidence
  • Soil erosion
Key future climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Heat wave
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Storm (including blizzards dust and sandstorms)
  • Changing wind patterns
Water
  • Heavy precipitation (rain hail snow/ice)
  • Water scarcity
Solid mass
  • Subsidence
  • Soil erosion
In Hungary the increase of the average temperature is 1.23 °C since the beginning of the last century (1901-2018), which exceeds the estimated rate of global change, which is of 0.9 °C. As regard the precipitation, the wettest year registered by the OMSZ (Hungarian Meteorological Service) since the beginning of the measurements was the year of 2010, which was also associated with huge floods. The driest year was the next year 2011, which shows that the climate shifted toward the extreme measures. The average temperature in Hungary has been on a strong upward trend since the 1980s. The intensity and length of draught periods is increasing. Numerous regions in Hungary suffer from water abundance and water scarcity in the same year.

The yearly distribution of the precipitation has changed. The occurrence of heavy rainfall events has also increased and the number of rainy day is declined. Rainfall is reaching the surface in the form of short-term, intense showers and thunderstorms.

In the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events caused by climate change there is already a significant increase today and their number will continue to rise. The daily precipitation intensity increased in summer.
Based on the available model results, the annual average temperature in Hungary is expected to increase in the 21st century. A few degrees rise in temperature can result significant changes in the frequency of rare extreme events. The number of frosty days will decrease, the incidence of summer days and days with heatwave will increase. We can expect more and more heatwave periods during the 21st century, which length and intensity will also increase, thus placing a significant burden on the human body called heat stress.

It is important to mention that as result of warming, spreading of new diseases will be more frequent as the number of spreading vectors (animals) will increase. Due to climate change for example the Egyptian hip mosquitoes and the West Nile fever can spread on larger areas than before. In addition, an increasing number of tumors resulted from increased UV radiation. As the temperature rises, the distribution and the flowering period of the allergenic plants will ext

Key affected sectors

Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
In the case of Hungary, the most important types of damage were drought damage, hail and spring frost damage. In the future, changes in precipitation and temperature will affect not only the quantity and quality of our surface and subsurface waters, but also the condition of the soil. Intense rainfall also increases the rate of soil erosion in our hilly and mountainous areas, which leads to a significant and rapid decline in soil fertility on eroded slopes and both in deeper sedimentation areas. Salinisation of soils is also a risk, which causes damages to the agricultural sector. In the case of vegetables and fruits, climate change can have a positive effect on yields due to increasing amount of heat, but it is highly important to provide irrigation. Vine-lands are more tolerant to drought compared to other crops, however, drought damage can also cause serious hardship in this case. Arable crop production is particularly affected by climate change: spring crops are expected to show a declining average yield, while those sown in the fall are likely to show increasing yields (RCB).
Key hazard likelihood
high
Based on the available model results (RCB), the annual average temperature in Hungary is expected to increase in the 21st century. The daily precipitation intensity increased in summer. Nationwide, the precipitation is becoming increasingly short-term, with intense showers.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
The expected impact of climate change on spring and autumn crops is different. In the case of spring-sown crops the yield loss can be as big as 30% or more. The herbal and spice sector could be one of the winners of climate change: the diversity of species makes the sector more adaptive compared to other sectors. Climate change is expected to have positive effects on plant pests as climatic conditions (especially those affecting reproduction and overwintering) will be more favorable for them. As a consequence, protection against them will become more expensive. Livestock farming is not only exposed to climate change, but also has a significant impact on emissions. In the case of pork and poultry production, where closed, stable housing is typical, these effects are less serious, but increased cost of air conditioning are likely (RCB).
Risk Future Impact
high
Based on the Second National Climate Change Strategy, amongst the elemental types of damage, it is the drought that causes the highest lost in the long run in Hungary, and it is followed by frost damage and water damage. Considering the fact that we have to expect an increasing
average summer temperature and a decreasing summer precipitation, it can be concluded that the largest challenge agriculture faces is the increase of the chances of drought.
Impact/key hazard
medium
The climate change will cause quite extensive and radical changes in the ecosystem. The climate affects the biological processes of individuals, population dynamics, the spreading of species and the structure and functioning of ecosystems.
Key hazard likelihood
high
Based on the available model results (RCB), the annual average temperature in Hungary is expected to increase in the 21st century. The daily precipitation intensity increased in summer. Nationwide, the precipitation is becoming increasingly short-term, with intense showers.
Vulnerability
high
Based on the Second National Climate Change Strategy, temporary drying of minor streams and standing waters jeopardise the subsistence of biomes dependent on water. More frequent fires can increase vulnerability in several habitats. The climate change can accelerate the migration of species and can modify or help the spreading of already problematic invasive species.
Risk Future Impact
high
Based on the Second National Climate Change Strategy, in Hungary, the greatest risk of the near future lies within the rearrangement of
communities and changes in the spreading of species, which will likely entail the extinction of many species and the appearance of new species (including harmful non-indigenous, invasive species).
Impact/key hazard
medium
The extreme weather conditions effect the human civilisation and societies more and more directly. The extreme weather conditions, including droughts, heatwaves, storms and the fires, floods, landslides caused by these can have such consequences that the municipalities, countries which are affected by these cannot handle alone. The situation is made even more complex by the fact that an extreme natural disaster can be followed by other ones or may be accompanied by any other natural emergency, and they can, on the whole, intensify the negative effects and consequences of each other, usually in a progressive and exponential way. The consequences of climate change, especially the increased threats to the natural, human and humanmade environment have made the climate change one of the central elements of disaster management.
Key hazard likelihood
high
Based on the RCB, the number of natural disasters is expected to increase in the coming decades as a result of climate change. Based on what has been said so far, almost all sectors are expected to be affected by disasters due to changes in climate parameters. In the future, it would be necessary to prepare in particular in the following areas: food security, flood risk areas, drinking water protection, critical infrastructure protection, industrial production.
Vulnerability
medium
Hungary's report on the national disaster risk assessment includes detailed assessment on disaster management related vulnerablilty.
Risk Future Impact
high
According to Hungary's report on the national disaster risk assessment, Hungary's territory is significantly exposed to the effects of climate change and several climate related hazards have significance also in disaster management.
Impact/key hazard
low
The reduction in heating energy demand is already being felt, but the effects of climate change on infrastructure are still uncertain. A project is currently underway to explore the the effects of climate change on energy demand and infrastrucure.
Key hazard likelihood
high
A project is currently underway to explore the the effects of climate change on energy demand and infrastrucure.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
The primary challenge for energy sector is changing energy needs and infrastructure demages. In winter, we can expect a decrease in heating energy demand, and in summer we can expect a significant increase in cooling electricity demand. Increasing electricity demand can cause unexpected and large-scale power outages. Rising water temperatures in rivers and changing water flows can cause problems with the temperature and amount of cooling water. The use of hydropower will be fundamentally determined by the changing water flow of rivers, and the performance of wind farms will be determined by changes in wind conditions. The biggest risks affecting electric overhead lines are fires caused by lightning, flashfloods in floodplains and in hilly areas. Overhead lines are also exposed to sudden heavy rainfall and the resulting landslides (RCB).
Risk Future Impact
medium
A project is currently underway to explore the the effects of climate change on energy demand and infrastrucure.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Hungary is situated in the vegetation-geographical zone of closed forests and the forest steppe, which makes as much as half of our forests exposed to climate change. The viability and growth potential of the tree species (i.e. tree productivity) is mainly affected by their geographical position and genetic traits. Climatic impacts of forest viability are the annual precipitation distribution, the increasing annual average temperature, the increasing frequency of drought periods, diminishing relative humidity and increase in the frequency of climatic extremes (e.g. windstorms). Consequently, the conditions of the forests and the limits to sustainable forest management are fundamentally influenced by climate change (RCB).
Key hazard likelihood
high
Based on the available model results (RCB), the annual average temperature in Hungary is expected to increase in the 21st century. The daily precipitation intensity increased in summer. Nationwide, the precipitation is becoming increasingly short-term, with intense showers.
Vulnerability
high
Based on the Second National Climate Change Strategy, in Hungary (in temperate continental climate) the increase of temperature can lead to droughts if precipitation reduces. Drought slows down the growth of trees, and so their carbon sequestration and storage, and can cause the deterioration and decay of trees. The expected large quantities of winter and spring precipitation increase the change of floods.

Floods can cause the most damage to trees in springtime, when they are in their growth phase; damages suffered in this period can even cause the decay of the tree.
Risk Future Impact
high
Based on the Second National Climate Change Strategy, the climate change will make the climate zones
determining the spreading of our indigenous tree species and having a specific amount of annual precipitation and mean temperature will shift towards North and to areas that are located higher above the sea. The forecasted pace of the shifting of climate zones is far higher than the spreading pace of tree species, therefore, tree species, forest communities stuck in unfavourable climate zones can exist for an uncertain
time.
Impact/key hazard
high
The EU Adaptation Strategy issued in April 2013 mentions the various aspects of deaths and diseases attributable to high temperature (heatwaves) among the most significant risks of climate change.
Key hazard likelihood
high
During the period between 2021 and 2050, the average number of days with heat will likely increase by 77%, and, in parallel, the average value of daily extra temperature over the threshold temperature will increase by 46%. According to calculations, in Hungary the number of
deaths per day increases by 51 on day of heat-wave, which means an additional number of deaths of 783 per year (NCCS-2).
Vulnerability
high
Based on the Second National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS-2), due to the climate change, we must expect more frequent and more intense heatwaves. The heatwaves are especially dangerous to the elderly, those suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Risk Future Impact
high
According to the estimation made on the basis of the ALADIN-Climate climate model, the number of additional deaths will likely increase 2.6-fold between 2021 and 2050 (NCCS-2).
Impact/key hazard
low
According to Second National Climate Change Strategy, extreme weather events, changing seasons and the related heating and air conditioning costs mean a fundamental change to the options of the tourism sector; the changing climatic conditions lead to new business preferences and decisions and also effect the demand and supply at the same time. The change in these climatic events is already measurable, but their impact on tourism is still uncertain.
Key hazard likelihood
medium
Based on the Report on the scientific assessment of the possible effects of climate change on the Carpathian Basin (RCB) occurrence of key hazards (effecting tourism sector) will intensify under future climate.
Vulnerability
high
Based on the study carried out within the framework of NAGiS, the vulnerability of tourism will be different in different areas of Hungary and in different types of destinations in the future.
https://nater.mbfsz.gov.hu/[…]/Turizmus_Kutat%c3%a1si_jelentes.pdf
Risk Future Impact
medium
Based on the study carried out within the framework of NAGiS, the vulnerability of tourism will be different in different areas of Hungary and in different types of destinations in the future.
https://nater.mbfsz.gov.hu/[…]/Turizmus_Kutat%c3%a1si_jelentes.pdf
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
Warming and increasing frequency of weather extremes affect cities and villages in many ways. Increasing frequency and magnitude of heat waves, UV radiation and extreme storms affect both the health of people and public utilities. Moreover, it causes damages to transport infrastructure, as well as residential and public buildings. The frequency and intensity of heat waves are expected to increase in the future, which poses a high risk to public health (especially for the elderly and children). Air conditioners used as active protection against heat are further increase the heat island effect (RCB, NAGIS).
Key hazard likelihood
high
Based on RCB the frequency and intensity of heat waves are expected to increase which poses a high risk to public health. The expected increase in the maximum wind speed and the frequency of windstorms by the end of the century is a direct threat to the external boundary elements of buildings in the South-Eastern Great Plain, the Middle Mountains and the Alps (facade and roof coverings, doors and windows, blinds, roofing , chimneys, antennas), street equipment (traffic light, pylon, telephone booth, traffic safety equipment, TRAFFIC signs) and vegetation. Sudden, heavy rains can cause flash floods in hilly settlements and inland waters in lowland areas.
Vulnerability
medium
Second National Climate Change Strategy, the Climate Change Action Plans and also the local climate change strategies put a great emphasis on urban climate change effects. Consequently the adaptive capacity of settlements hopefully will increase in the future.
Risk Future Impact
high
Future risks are fundamentally dependent on the effectiveness of current interventions.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The Report on the scientific assessment of the possible effects of climate change on the Carpathian Basin (RCB) mentions that the Hungarian water bodies show different levels of vulnerability, but all of them are endangered by different aspects of climate change; spatiotemporal changes of temperature and precipitation is one of the biggest risks. Relevant data shows that a relatively minor change in precipitation and temperature has a major impact on the process of water cycle: a 15–20% annual fluctuation of average precipitation together with a 1–2°C fluctuation of yearly average temperature can lead to 60% difference regarding mean annual flow.

Regarding flood protection, the following climate impacts need to be taken into account: (1) floods related to winter rainfalls become more frequent, (2) floods related to melting snow and ice become unpredictable, (3) frequency and intensity of flash floods grow, (4) flood-related damages become more frequent (Nováky, 2013).
Key hazard likelihood
high
Most of our rivers show diminishing tendencies of mean annual flow, while significant changes in its annual rhythm can also be observed: during winter the flow is becoming more intense, while during summer it is very low (Nováky, 2013).
Vulnerability
high
NAGIS models show that in the case of major lakes permanent low water levels are likely in the future, as water balance becomes instable. Lake Balaton seems to be extremely exposed to this risk based on the tendencies of the past couple of decades. Growing levels of evaporation due to the growing average temperature is one of the greatest challenges in this case. Water quality diminishes as water temperature rises and ice becomes less frequent.

Due to climate change annual rhythm of precipitation changes: during winter it increases, while during summer it decreases. The number of wet days diminishes, however, the intensity of precipitation grows. These processes result in increasing flow and decreasing infiltration. As a consequence, groundwater bodies get less and less water from above the surface. This process has negative impact on subterranean systems of circulation. Reducing levels of groundwater lead to more frequent drought, and the area affected by drought is also likely to grow. At the same time, surface water levels also decline. Groundwater-related floods become unpredictable.
Risk Future Impact
high
Based on the NAGIS models permanent low water levels of the major lakes and rivers, and more frequent drought have a high chance of occurence in the future.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the national level

Recently the governance structure regarding climate protection has strengthened in Hungary. In 2019 the Deputy Secretariat of State for Climate Policy was established under the Ministry for Innovation and Technology. The Climate Policy Department (under the Deputy Secretariat of State for Climate Policy) is responsible for the elaboration and implementation of NCCS-2. Additionally in 2013 the National Adaptation Center (as a department of the Mining and Geological Survey of Hungary) was established. The main tasks of the National Adaptation Center (NAC) is to support strategic planning in the fields of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (climate change mitigation through the National Decarbonisation Roadmap) adaptation to the expected impacts of climate change (through the National Adaptation Geo-information System and the National Adaptation Strategy).
In Hungary the Deputy Secretariat of State for Climate Policy is responsible for planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and revision of adaptation policy. The Climate Policy Department under the supervision of the Deputy State Secretary for Climate Policy is responsible for the scheduled review of the National Climate Change Strategy, the preparation of the Climate Change Action Plans and the monitoring of the implementation of the measures contained therein.

The National Adaptation Centre, as the governmental institution, assists the Deputy Secretariat of State for Climate Policy in the elaboration of policy documents, background documents and studies. The design of strategy papers however is carried out in a broad partnership with sectoral actors.

The Climate Policy Department collects information on the implementation of the measures included in the climate change action plans.
According to EU regulations, the climate protection assessment of new investments have to be carried out during the preliminary environmental assessment and the environmental impact assessment. Accordingly, the 314/2005. (XII. 25.) Government Decree on the Environmental Impact Assessment and the Unified Environmental Use Permit Procedure have been amended in 2017. The Environmental Protection Section of the Hungarian Chamber of Engineers has prepared a methodological guidance for conducting climate change analyzes.
Disaster management and adaptation are closely linked. Hungary has different strategies for adapting to climate change, risk prevention and promoting resilience to disasters, which are in line with local and national disaster risk assessment processes. Thus, with the National Climate Change Strategy, which sets out different lines of action, ensuring synergies with national climate change prevention and preparedness tasks. NCCS-2 and CCAP-1 both have measures on disaster risk management and report on the National Disaster Risk Assessment (2020) discusses in detail the effects of climate change.
There is no uniform, continuous data collection on sectoral vulnerability and progress in adaptation in Hungary (see Monitoring, reporting and evaluation). Data on sectoral effects are typically collected by sectoral institutions. There are therefore significant differences in the availability and usability of the data. Several institutions operate GIS-based tools, some of which are publicly available. The maps of the NAGiS are publicly available, but access to basic data requires registration.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the sub-national level (where “sub-national” refers to local and regional)

The set of measures of the CCAP-1 and CCAP-2, was developed as a result of a series of professional consultations implemented with wide involvement. More than 60 experts took part in 6 thematic consultations from affected national authorities. The outstanding result of the established partnership is the large number of measures developed and the high professional standard, as well as the communication and cooperation between the individual organizations, which can also contribute to better communication during the implementation phase of CCAP-1. In addition, there is an inter-ministerial working group on climate change, which is usually convened by the Deputy Secretariat of State for Climate Policy.
In connection with the development of county and municipal climate strategies, county and local climate platforms have been set up, which, as a local coordination forum, help to fight against climate change. According to the methodology to support the development of local climate strategies, local climate strategies should be linked to the objectives of the national strategy papers, thus creating a link between the national and sub-regional levels.

As a good practise example the project LIFE-MICACC can be mentioned, which was led by the Ministry of Interior of Hungary and five vulnerable Hungarian municipalities were participated, where 5 NWRM (Natural Water Retention Project) pilot projects were designed and implemented.
The mission of the NAS is to ensure the natural and socio-economic conditions of a livable Hungary that responds flexibly to climate change, prevents risks and minimizes damage; through an innovative strategic framework in support of sustainable development. The main adaptation priorities based on the NAS are: prevention of natural resources; adaptation of vulnerable regions; adaptation of vulnerable sectors; adaptation of strategic fields; social adaptation; research, development and innovation in the field of adaptation.
In Hungary, adaptation strategies and program documents at the national and regional levels have been developed in recent years: National Adaptation Strategy (part of the NCCS-2), 1st National Adaptation Programme (part of the CCAP-1), National Adaptation Geo-information System (NAGiS); Report on the scientific assessment of the possible effects of climate change on the Carpathian Basin (RCB); Climate and nature protection action plan; Climate change strategies of the counties (NUTS3 level) and many settlements (LAU1 level).

The most important challenge is the availability of financial resources and the missing monitoring system of implementation. The main sources of funding for adaptation measures are: incomes from EU-ETS allowances sales; European and EEA funds and Hungarian co-financing. A new integrated climate policy monitoring system is currently being prepared.

The „Report on the scientific assessment of the possible effects of climate change on the Carpathian Basin” (RCB) identified the main gaps on climate change research. New research projects and interventions in these areas will emerge in the coming years:
• Climate vulnerability assessment of critical energy infrastructures;
• Macro regional extension of the National Adaptation Geo-information System (NAGiS);
• Elaborated integrated rainwater and flood management planning guideline;
• Strengthening the adaptation capacity of the tourism sector;
• Reducing the exposure of agriculture to climate change;
• Strengthening digitalisation in climate protection.
The NCCS2 has been prepared for the time period of 2018-2030 (with an outlook to 2050). The action lines of the Strategy, in consideration of Government Decree No. 38/2012 (III. 12.), have been defined for three timeframes:
• Short term: Specific tasks foreseen for the period between 2018 and 2020, the implementation of which is ensured by the first Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP-1);
• Midterm: strategic action lines foreseen for the period between 2021 and 2030;
• Long term: intervention options of the period following 2030 and outlooking to 2050.

NCCS-2 comprises 3 sub-documents (sub-strategies) in line with the 3 pillars of climate policy: the National Decarbonization Roadmap for mitigation; the National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) for adaptation; and the Climate Change Awareness Raising Action Plan for awareness raising. The specific goals of adaptation are:
• Adaptation and preparedness: Climate adaptation aims to preserve the stock and quality of national (natural, human and economic) resources, and to promote flexible natural, social, economic and policy responses to changing external conditions. The aim is to prepare for a coordinated response to the long-term challenges of climate, energy, food and water security, as well as critical infrastructure security.
• GIS-basis for the territorial assessment of climate vulnerability: The territorial and sectoral strategic integration of adaptation to climate change requires comprehensive information on social, economic and environmental vulnerability to change. The aim is the continuous operation of a multi-purpose GIS data system based on domestic research and the results of earth observation, which helps to prepare, make and plan flexible decisions that are flexible to changing circumstances.

The NAS sets out the following fields of interventions:
• Preservation of natural and semi-natural ecosystems and restoration of degraded ecosystems in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.
• Preservation of natural resources, both in terms of quantity and quality, and their durable use in order to facilitate sustainable development.
• Detection the adaptation of vulnerable regions, elaboration of region-specific adaptation strategy papers and integrating them into the regional development plans.
• Developing the flexible and innovative adaptation of vulnerable sectors (including agriculture and forestry, tourism, energy industry, transport, building industry, telecommunications, etc.), elaboration of sector-specific adaptation strategy papers and integrating them into the sectoral development plans.
• Facilitating the preparation for managing increased risks, and developing adaptation in priority horizontal areas of national strategic importance (including disaster management, critical infrastructure, water management and rural development).

The National Adaptation Strategy (part of the NCCS-2) defines the adaptation framework of Hungary. The defined adaptation instruments are based on a detailed situation analysis which describes the expected effects of climate change on natural resources (waters, soil, biodiversity and forests) and the expected human and socioeconomic consequences of climate change in priority sectors. These sectors are the followings:
• human health,
• agriculture,
• disaster management, security policy,
• built environment, regional and urban development, regional and urban planning, municipal infrastructure
• transport,
• waste management,
• energy management,
• tourism.

Additionally the document identifies the short- (2018-2020), mid- (2021-2030) and long-term (2031-2050) priority sectoral action lines and tasks. The sectors are the followings:
• human health,
• water management,
• disaster management, security policy,
• agriculture, rural development,
• nature protection
• forestry
• built environment, regional and urban development, regional and urban planning, municipal infrastructure
• energy management
• tourism.

The implementation of the NCCS-2 will be based on 4 consecutive, three-year-long Climate change Action Plans (CCAP). The structure the 1st CCAP also follows a 3-pillar content: its 3 subprograms will be the Decarbonization Programme, the National Adaptation Programme (NAP) and the Awareness Raising Programme. The first CCAP is being planned for 2018-2020. The second CCAP is currently under adoption.

The main groups of measures is the following in the 1st CCAP:
• energy infrastructure actions
• human health actions
• water management actions
• disaster management, security policy actions
• agricultural and rural development actions
• nature protection actions
• forestry actions
• tourism actions

In 2019, the Climate and nature protection action plan was adopted by the Government. The action plan sets out the key climate policy interventions for the coming years.

Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures

Description
Due to climate change available water resources may shrink while water demand may increase. Thus stimulating responsible, sustainable water use, and the use of rainwater for irrigation and other purposes are crucial. Tasks: elaborating public health guidelines for alternative drinking water sources and legal conditions of mandatory rainwater collection for newly constructed buildings, a post-2020 comprehensive drinking water network reconstruction programme.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A1: Policy
Description
Certain social groups (children, elderly people, people with disabilities or chronical illnesses) are more vulnerable to heat waves. Thus, the following steps are planned: Assessment of heat and UV protection plans of institutions that provide basic and specialised health care and social services, child protection and child welfare services; and development of methodological guidelines for health and UV protection plans.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Appropriate revision is needed of current heat thresholds and criteria for the increasing extremity and intensity to facilitate the sensitivity of the system. Analysing region and season specific warning system opportunities, and conditions is also planned.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Efficiency of water utility systems is crucial with climate change influencing the availability and quality of water resources. Tasks include implementations of reconstructions and technical improvements of water utility systems agreed by the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority in the Rolling Development Plan. Widespread awareness-raising is planned within the framework of CCAP2.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C1: Physical
Description
Changing climatic parameters will have an influence on the demand and distribution of electricity, district heating and natural gas. Within the National Adaptation Geoinformatics System we plan to explore the expected trends of residential demand on natural gas for heating purposes; concern remote heating needs; elaborate the vulnerability assessment methodology of electricity networks, including the identification of trends in climatic parameters which have influence on electricity demand.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
As the greatest challenge of climate change for agriculture is the decreasing amount of precipitation, a key pillar of adaptation to the drier climate is the development of irrigation that considers sustainable water supply management aspects. Planned tasks: establishing and commissioning the monitoring station network of the Operative Drought and Water Shortage System, and preparing developmental projects for irrigation purposes detailed in Government Decision No. 1800/2018.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
As the frequency of natural disasters may increase with climate change, it is crucial to know disaster risks more accurately and develop information systems. Thus, establishing a national disaster risk assessment system is planned with the involvement of professional and academic organisations.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
Apart from maintenance and restoration of forests, the National Forestation Programme aims at forest expansion. Due to climate change, the use of more drought and heat resilient forest reproductive materials (seeds, saplings) are to be encouraged when planting and restoring indigenous tree species (within the framework of the Rural Development Operative Programme)
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
Technological development allows for increasing accuracy in determining surface water coverage and efficiency in damage control by applying remote sensing techniques instead of on-site visits. Thus, elaborating geoinformatical analysis methodology, and automation of inland flood mapping is planned.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
Due to climate change, the electricity transmission system will be affected by (1) the changing electricity demand and (2) more frequent breakdowns and damages to infrastructure. Preparing a research on the assessment of the electricity transmission and distribution network system (transformer and distribution networks) in consideration of the long-term effects of climate change for the purpose of ensuring supply security.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
Because of climate change new vector species appear, posing epidemic threat from indigenous vectors. A study will be prepared about the Hungarian surveillance system of invasive mosquito species with attention to the available results of the monitoring system. Considering the challenges of climate change assessment and preparation of a proposal on the protection opportunities against anthropod vectors (which pests are considered as health risks in Hungary) is needed.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
As climate change may cause surface movements in the next decades due to extreme water management events which will influence the static condition of landfills and waste heaps. To explore these, this measure involves climate vulnerability of areas affected by surface movements, considering changes in climate projections, especially the future frequency and duration of extremely wet and dry periods.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
The climate monitoring module of the currently used Forestry Monitoring and Observation System (FMOS) should be supplemented by a remote sensing monitoring system to get online available real-time 3D information on forest characteristics and forest health also by monitoring drought effects. The data from the two monitoring systems should be integrated for assessment and optimised utilisation.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
Forests play a crucial role in climate change mitigation with CO2 sequestration, thus a sustainable forest management is essential. to facilitate this, the exploration of climate-related changes in forest habitats with modelling and giving recommendations to forest managers in the form of a decision support system is planned.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
The amount and quality of retrievable drinking water is dwindling from riverside terraced gravel. Thus, we have to protect drinking water bases from riverside terraced gravel and advance the spread of the sub-surface water storage technology in Hungary. By the end of 2020, a development of a transnational database, sub-surface water storage possibilities in the central European region, elaborating a methodological guideline, and the observation of a Hungarian pilot area will be implemented.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
The inland flood risk map of the country’s flatland areas was completed in 2015 to support decision making and development planning. As the resulting map is yet limited, its methodology should be further developed to help in analysing changes in the water budget, permanence of flooding and effects of human interventions.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
Due to climate change, sharing water resources among water users may lead to an increasing conflict situation. Water is a renewable but finite resource and state property; decision support systems are needed for a responsible management. Finding the sustainable balance between water demand and water supplies is helped by forecasting long-term (6-year) assessment of water availability trends and defining the available amount of water without endangering water bodies helps (VGT3 state assessment).
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
As climate change alters the spread of allergen plants, more and more people suffer from pollen allergy, thus further development of the warning system is needed (forecasting the flowering period of climate-specific allergen indicator plants and further developing and adapting the results of the Copernicus C3 projects, long-term warning systems to the Hungarian setting).
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
Building structure and size significantly influence the resilience to soil movements, and various types of soils respond differently to changes in humidity; thus a methodology needs to be elaborated within this project which observes these factors within the same system. The project will be completed within the framework of CCAP2; CCAP1 includes tasks of mapping, analysis and impact assessment, preparing adaptation information to stakeholders concerned.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
Climate change scenarios show more frequent extreme precipitation events and longer drought periods, which significantly influence waters regimes. Thus, research will be prepared for the estimations of water regime changes, and the assessment of irrigation opportunities.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
The effects of climate change on tourism is yet an unexplored area. Support is given to sectoral and regional/settlement planning in the form of facilitating methodological investigations on exposure and vulnerability of tourism destinations and the application of a risk assessment methodology focusing on climate change in destination management, and testing them via case studies; preparing a research/awareness-raising project and financing for practical guides, methodological trainings.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
Hungary is getting more and more exposed to inland flood and drought risks, and water supplementary system is only available at 2% of the production area. As irrigation farming may serve as a solution to exposure to increasing water budget variability and extremities, the government set the goal of establishing irrigation farming, thus allowing for the production of higher production value plant cultures.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
Sustainable use of ecosystem services has a significant effect on our well-being. Related tasks: assessing the national ecosystems for their climate regulation potential (for mitigation); microclimate regulation, decreasing flood risks, handling rainwater in urban areas, reducing heat stress. Mapping green infrastructure, assigning areas for restoration and elaborating legal, regulatory and economic incentive strategic proposals are also planned, along with awareness-raising.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
Direct consequence of climate change are extremities in water management (droughts, inland waters and floods) happens within a short time period, posing challenge to settlements. Successful treatment is often hampered by the lack of expertise. Thus, guidelines for settlements are to be drafted that integrate these aspects into sustainable rainwater management solutions and regulation opportunities are to be investigated, adapting internationally tested measures, considering local conditions.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
Climate change events have an effect on each part of the water supply system. Elaborating a methodological guideline, upon which water security plans (which include comprehensive risk analysis and assessment) are to be modified in order to be able to handle extreme weather phenomena.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
The adaptation potential of agriculture lies also in familiarising farmers with long-term effects of climate change and possible adaptation methods. Thus, integrating the following topics into the annual mandatory training syllabus of expert consultants is inevitable: long-term effects of climate change and possible adaptation methods, soil-friendly management methods, the advantages of intensive farming for climate adaptation.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
Habitats and ecosystems in good condition significantly contribute to climate change mitigation and facilitate adaptation through their ecosystem services. The following measures are implemented until 2020: state assessment and monitoring changes, acting against invasive species, nature protection measures, and preparing background materials for a national grassland strategy.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
As the appropriate soil use is important in climate adaptation, it is inevitable to raise awareness of farmers to the role of soil in adaptation and share good practices by preparing a publication on the right soil protection practice and organising lecture series at multiple venues about the key soil characteristics for adaptation, about good soil management practices and resource management.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering


Although climate change is a global issue, and international cooperation plays a major role in reducing GHG emissions, efficient adaptation to and preparation for actual impacts can be done locally, with the active involvement of the local stakeholders and by using local knowledge in harmony with the local conditions.

The county level (NUTS3) is fully covered by climate strategies and many municipalities also have climate strategies, or SECAPs. The plan hierarchy is implemented, so the sub-national plans are related to the NCCS-2 and, as they are horizontal plans, to other strategic documents in the given area. County spatial planning plans and concepts are currently being reviewed, in which climate change perspectives are often reflected.

Due to the different climatic exposures and economic characteristics of the counties, adaptation priorities differ in each climate strategy at county level. The most frequently assessed sectors are water management, forestry, agriculture, human health, tourism. Situation analysis is well developed in most strategies, but there are significant differences in the elaboration of aims and goals. The measures set out in the strategies also required a timeframe, a possible source and an organization responsible for implementation, which also helps the implementation process.
According to NCCS-2 many sectoral strategies already deals with the aspects of climate change. Both NCCS-2 and CCAP-1 have sectoral action lines and measures, that have to be taken into consideration by the affected sectors. According to NCCS-2 it is a long-term goal for all sectors to integrate climate change, as a boundary condition, into policies and strategies. During the planning process of CCAP-1 and CCAP-2 a wide sectoral partnership took place to integrate adaptation into sectoral development activites.

In 2020 a report was developed about disaster risk assessment in Hungary, which also covers in detail the disaster risk due to climate change. 12 risk areas identified by the report, the followings are related to climate change:
• extreme weather;
• water damage;
• geological risks;
• health related risks.
Combating climate change is imaginable only in line with the principles of sustainable development and with the involvement of the wide range of stakeholders. Pursuits aiming at slowing down climate change and adaptation to the new circumstances may be efficient if the measures are supported by a professional-academic, political and social consensus. The aim of climate change related awareness-raising is therefore integrating climate awareness and sustainability into the planning process, decision-making and actions on all levels of society. The Climate Policy Department is responsible also for the coordination mechanism and for the stakeholder involvement in national adaptation policy. NCCS-2 has a dedicated sub-document for awareness raising (Climate Change Awareness Raising Action Plan), which emphasizes the importance of partnership with media, education, churches, governmental, economic, civil and academic actors.

As a national good practise example during the elaboration of the CCAPs, a wide horizontal participation took place. The CCAPs include set of measures which was based on the measures submitted by the sectors and discussed in working group meetings.

In the last few years several projects supported also the vertical mainstreaming and participation. As a sub-national level example all the counties have made their own climate change strategies, and in connection with these planning activities the so called „county climate platforms” have been set up. These platforms have a broad membership (from the administration, through civil society, and NGOs to business organizations etc.) and their main aim is to facilitate the implementation of local climate actions. The climate change awareness at the subnational level is also increasing. The Hungarian organization called Alliance of Climate-Friendly Municipalities has now 57 members. Besides that through the Territorial and Settlement Development Operational Programme a lot of municipality had the opportunity to elaborate their own SECAP and as part of the process to be members of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. The Covenant has 213 signatories from Hungary.
In connection with the development of county and municipal climate strategies, local climate platforms have been set up, which have also private sector members. There was a strong emphasis on partnership and awareness-raising in these projects.

According to EU regulations, the climate protection assessment of new investments have to be carried out during the preliminary environmental assessment and the environmental impact assessment. Accordingly, the 314/2005. (XII. 25.) Government Decree on the Environmental Impact Assessment and the Unified Environmental Use Permit Procedure have been amended in 2017. The Environmental Protection Section of the Hungarian Chamber of Engineers has prepared a methodological guidance for conducting climate change analyzes.

As a good practice example in 2020 the second Hungarian-coordinated project started within the framework of the LIFE Climate Policy sub-program, which aims for cooperation between a city and a company to facilitate adaptation (LIFE-CLIMCOOP).

The overall aim of the LIFE-CLIMCOOP project is to develop a public-private partnership in which cities and local companies work together to reduce climate risks and increase their adaptability to climate change, which can lead to a reduction in vulnerability to climate change in the region and in Hungary. areas with similar socio-economic characteristics.
The Climate Policy Department monitors the status of the measurements of Climate Change Actions Plans from time to time. The goal of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology is to set up a comprehensive monitoring framework related to energy- and climate policy, as the existing monitoring practice can vary from sector to sector and their managed data are diverse. Frequency of data collection and date of data publishing are very diverse, too.

The highest challenge is that the given databases, inventories are not interconnected with each other into a single national database. There is an ongoing project financed by the EU Structural Reform Support Programme, which helps Hungary in setting up this comprehensive monitoring system, with elaboration recommendations.

Regarding the evaluation history in Hungary, it can be stated that in the period since our accession to the EU, an MRE framework of aid utilization; achievement of OP-objectives; and implementation evaluation in relation to EU grants-related development policy have been set up. Among these evaluations environmental aspects rarely emerge. Specifically climate-related evaluations (directly or indirectly affecting climate policy) did not occur at all until recently.

In the field of adaptation the National Adaptation Geo-Information System (developed in its first phase from Norway and EEA grants between 2013 and 2016 and improved further from Energy Efficiency and Environment OP fund between 2017 and 2020) is the basic tool. The system is developed and operated by the Hungarian Mining and Geological Survey (HGMS); and its main function is to support national climate policy and local government decision making, providing its target groups with regularly updated data from climate observation and modelling, and data about climate change impacts and consequences and potential adaptation measures by sectors or vulnerability topics. Among the latter ones the vulnerability to floods, flash floods and inland water inundations; the sensitivity of drinking water reservoirs; the exposure to draughts; the extreme weather-related vulnerability of housing stock; and the human health-related vulnerability to heat waves can be mentioned.

Nevertheless, the systematic, complex monitoring and evaluation of adaptation-related development objectives, measures and climate impacts is currently lacking. As a response to this deficit the set-up of a complex climate policy-oriented MRE system (using its planned Hungarian abbreviation: KIMER) is being planned and prepared. It is a favourable starting point that the initial conditions for the establishment of the monitoring background were given using the FAIR data involving their relevant data sets. With the set-up of KIMER our goal is the creation of a monitoring system that is suitable to monitor and improve the projects aiming at mitigation, adaptation, green economy development or awareness raising objectives in Hungary from different development funds.
In Hungary, as well as in the majority of EU member states systematic MRE activities exist only in connection with ESIF Funds-related activities. There is no directly climate policy oriented let alone adaptation-focussed MRE in Hungary. Only the NAGiS provides observation data, climate model-based forecasts and climate impact and vulnerability data in different vulnerability topics. The 2nd National Climate Change Strategy for 2030 (NCCS-2) declares a definite demand for a complex climate policy oriented MRE system-development in Hungary. To support the set-up of such a system the HMGS conducted a comprehensive situation analysis in 2020. In the framework of this the HMGS introduced the climate policy-oriented or other relevant MRE system building initiatives, monitoring and evaluation experience in Hungary; practices and main lessons of the international practice both from EU and Member State level. Regarding the latter climate mitigation- and adaptation-oriented MRE activities and systems of benchmark countries (Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands) were analysed via desk research and interviews in a more detailed way. Based on these parts of the situation analysis, a system building concept was elaborated, covering the characteristics and operating principles of the system to be set-up and its ways of integration into the existing Hungarian frameworks. The system’s set-up may start in practice in late 2021 or early 2022, depending from political decision.
The question can only be answered after the KIMER system has been set up and started its operation. About implementation of the 1st CCAP’s projects the relevant ministries reports to the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (as the responsible unit for climate policy in Hungary). Approximately 90 % of the measures of the 1st CCAP has been implemented so far.

Currently the ministries responsible for the given measures of the 1st CCAP report about their implementation. Adaptation results and impacts of EU funds-supported projects and programmes can be monitored and evaluated through dimension code system of the EU-planning. Even a comprehensive assessment was prepared about the climate adaptation-related results of the 2014-20 programming period in Hungary, ordered by the central monitoring coordination unit of the Chancellery.
According to the calculations based on EU planning-related dimension codes approximately 6% of the total supports were expended to climate adaptation oriented actions between 2014 and 2020 (mainly form the Energy Efficiency and Environment OP – water management and adaptation related database development, flood and inland water inundation management, disaster management, nature protection and energy efficiency related awareness raising; the Territorial and Settlement Development OP – green area preservation and development, urban rehabilitation, awareness raising, nature protection and adaptive tourism development; the Rural Development Programme – agro-forestry system and agro-environmental system developments, adaptive forestry, eco-agriculture, habitat preservation and rehabilitation).
According to the calculations based on EU planning-related dimension codes approximately 6% of the total supports were expended to climate adaptation oriented actions between 2014 and 2020 from the related OPs. However, monitoring the state of play of the implementation is made difficult by some obstacles. 1) In Hungary, environmental impact assessments and uniformed environment-use licensing proceedings are regulated by the 314/2005 Government regulation. Nevertheless the regulation does not give any methodological description or guidance for examination of climate mitigation and adaptation aspects. As a consequence, climate related aspects have been integrated to a minimal extent so far into these documents. 2) The document called Climate Risks Guideline was published by central OP coordination only on 05/05/2017; meanwhile the potentially climate adaptation-related OP constructions had already been opened in 2016. Almost 80 % of the projects had been submitted before the guideline was introduced. Among the further 20% only those projects that were in a planning phase then, used the guideline.

The question can only be answered fully after the KIMER system has been set up and started its operation.
Without proper and operating MRE system it is hard to estimate that progress, however, we can state that numerous projects has been started or already been finished in the recent years (mainly from the relevant OPs, the Rural Development Programme and LIFE and a Norway Grant sources). These can contribute significantly to the cause of adaptation to and preparation for impacts of climate change. The „Further Development of NAGiS” (2017-20) project was a crucial step in strengthening adaptation decision support activities of national policy making and local governments in Hungary. Approximately 90% of the 1st CCAP’s measures have been implemented – however, these were mostly strategic planning or preparatory initiatives, serving as basis for future bigger research projects, developments and interventions. Real impact mitigation and adaptation results are expected as the results of the measures of the 2nd and 3rd CCAP.
Progress regarding the adaptive capacity building can be indicated by the capability to give proper responses to challenges. These capabilities has been improved by the development of the NAGiS system’s decision supporting functions and vulnerability assessment modules (both existing modules have been improved and new modules have also been developed) between 2017 and 2020. These improvements can significantly strengthened the knowledge base of national and local climate policy related decision making. The further development of NAGiS brought serious results in the following fields:
• Tourism adaptation
o Elaboration of a vulnerability assessment methodological study
o Preparation of 3 Hungarian destination pilot studies
• Settlement-level Adaptation Barometer
o Elaboration of a downloadable questionnaire to support community planning
• Local Adaptation Decision Support Application
o Downloadable maps, database, reports, comparisons
• Management Information System supporting sectoral decision support at national/regional level
• Publication of series of awareness raising brochures about awareness raising and fresh NAGiS results
• Agrarian studies
o Renewal of land use modelling
o Conducting of climate adaptation research
• Social studies
o Examination of human health consequences of CC
o Assessment of CC impacts on internal migration processes
o Assessment of CC impacts on internal labour market processes
• Hydrology study
o Settlement-level analysis of urban land flooding
o Elaboration of a local rainwater and flash flood management handbook
• Study on the housing stock’s vulnerability at settlement level
• Education programme
o For local governments, stakeholders about new decision supporting functions
o For higher education about new results of the NAGiS development
• Final report on CC aspects of geological threats
Adaptation priorities are identified in the NCCS-2’s adaptation sub-strategy, the NAS (National Adaptation Strategy). Based on these and the short and medium term sectoral action lines of NCCS-2, concrete adaptation measures were elaborated in the CCAPs of the NCCS-2. Approximately 90% of the 1st CCAP’s adaptation measures have been implemented so far; the 2nd CCAP and its adaptation measures are under planning.

Going through the six main adaptation priorities of NCCS-2 the following progress can be detected in the last 2 years:
• Preservation of natural and semi-natural ecosystems, preservation of natural resources: the 1st CCAP’s nature protection measures implemented habitat preservation and rehabilitation.
• Detection the adaptation of vulnerable regions, elaboration of region-specific adaptation strategies: in 2017-18 county and capital level climate strategies were elaborated; elaboration of municipal level climate change strategies is under way. Further development of NAGiS (2017-2020) contributed significantly to the provision of proper information basis of vulnerability topics’ territorial differences.
• Developing the flexible and innovative adaptation of vulnerable sectors: The 1st CCAP’s sectoral measures in the fields of energy infrastructure, water management, agriculture, forestry, nature protection, tourism, settlement development, human health can contribute to the adaptation of the covered sectors.
• Facilitating the preparation for managing increased risks, and developing adaptation in priority horizontal areas of national strategic importance: In the 1st CCAP numerous measures aimed the development of a national disaster management information system; the methodological preparation of the vulnerability assessment of the critical infrastructure networks. In the framework of the 2nd CCAP (being prepared currently) a special module within NAGiS will deal with the potential adaptation responses of the critical infrastructures. In the 1st and 2nd CCAP, and on top of these from Norway and EEA grants, several water management projects were implemented and are being planned regarding flash flood and rainwater inundation management planning and pilot project implementation.
• Mitigation of the expected social impacts of climate change and improving social adaptability, facilitating social familiarisation with adaptation options: The 1st CCAP’s awareness raising measures targeted the improvement of consciousness of national and local administration, the media and the education system.
• Supporting research projects and innovation, publication of scientific research results: several results of the NAGiS system can be mentioned here (see earlier).
One of the main barriers is the difficult monitoring of adaptation which is a complex phenomenon and hard to be grasped. The KIMER system being planned and prepared focuses among other things on MRE activities of adaptation. Also the related decision support background has to be improved further. The constant improvement of NAGiS serves this goal through monitoring, analysing and evaluating traditional vulnerability topics of the country (drought, flood, flash flood, inland water inundation, vulnerability of ecosystems, forests, agriculture, and settlement’s housing stocks and critical infrastructure networks). Identification of adaptation responses could be based on NAGiS modules.
2020 was an important year in terms of climate policy-related strategic planning. In January a 5-element climate and energy policy package was adopted by the government, consisting of the updated National Energy Strategy for 2030; the 1st CCAP, the EU-requirement National Energy and Climate Plan and the Clean Development Strategy (the Hungarian LTS). The fifth pillar of the package was the „Carpathian basin Report” (RCB), a scientific report summarizing current and future climate trends and weather-related impacts of the macro region. The report enlists the most important impacts and adaptation responses by sectors/vulnerability topics. In the spring of 2020 a Climate and Nature Protection Action Plan was also approved by the Government with 8 important short time actions. The late spring witnessed the adoption of the Climate Law of Hungary. After the elaboration and adoption of these legal and strategic planning basic documents, the next years will be period of concrete actions to addressing existing practical barriers.
The document called “Report on the national disaster risk assessment” from 2014 has been revised and updated recently (for its content please see the chapter National Circumstances).

The further development of the NAGiS system took place between 2017 and 2020 (for its main results please see the question “Progress towards increasing adaptive capacity”). Nevertheless, our further goal is to secure the further extension of NAGiS in terms of both thematically (with development of new vulnerability assessment and decision supporting modules and the improvement of existing modules) and territorially. This latter aim can be achieved with the spatial extension of the system for the Carpathian basin macro region, in the form of the planned CARPAGiS project. The preparation of the CARPAGiS is currently under way.
Adoption of the 2nd National Climate Change Strategy of Hungary 2018-2030 (with an outlook to 2050) was taken place after a long planning process in October 2018. Its revision and update is expected by the middle of the decade. The NCCS’ implementation, according to the document, is based on four consecutive three-year-long action plans, the Climate Change Action Plans (CCAPs). The 1st CCAP was planned for the period 2018-20 and has been mostly implemented so far. The second CCAP is being planned currently. Actually the document is waiting for sectoral reconciliatory meetings and partnership process before being approved by the Government.
After the Hungarian counties’ and Budapest’s climate change strategy had been elaborated and they had been adopted by county assemblies, even the local level (urban, village and in Budapest district climate change strategies’ elaboration were also started. Approximately 150 Hungarian settlements are expected to have their adopted strategies by the end of 2021. The county strategies from 2018 recently reach the date of their revision and update (this date is declared in the strategies themselves). To support this process the Hungarian Mining and Geological Survey is planning to prepare an updated methodology for revision and re-planning of these strategic documents.

Good practices and lessons learnt

The National Adaptation Geo-information System (NAGiS) is a multipurpose geo-information system that can facilitate the policy-making, strategy-building and decision-making processes related to the impact assessment of climate change and founding necessary adaptation measures in Hungary. NAGiS directly supports the implementation, supervision and evaluation of the second National Climate Change Strategy, and the implementation and evaluation of the Environment and Energy Operative Programme.
Climate vulnerability assessment of critical energy infrastructures

Evaluation of the system (structure, capacity) of electricity, gas and district heating transmission and distribution networks (transformer network, distribution network) taking into account the long-term effects of climate change, in terms of guaranteeing security of supply. The project started in 2020 and is expected to be finalised in 2022.
Cooperation of cities and local companies for climate change adaptation

The overall goal of the LIFE-CLIMCOOP project is to develop, test and demonstrate collective actions between a city government and a multinational company to reduce local climate risks and enhance joint Climate Change (CC) adaptation for vulnerable urban and industrial areas in the selected region, in Hungary and in Central-East Europe.
https://life-climcoop.hu/en/project/
DEEPWATER-CE

The DEEPWATER-CE transnational cooperation project (funded by the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Program) was launched in 2019. The initiative, to be implemented in cooperation with 5 Central European countries (Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Croatia and Hungary), aimed to promote the use of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and water storage technologies in Central Europe in Western and Southern Europe. They are already a tried and tested solution in Europe. https://www.interreg-central.eu/
Municipalities as integrators and coordinators in adaptation to climate change (LIFE-MICACC)

The implementation of this project has begun in 2017 under the leadership of the Ministry of Interior (Coordination Office for Municipalities under the Secretary of Municipalities). The main objective of the project is to raise the awareness and increase the knowledge about the impacts of climate change and the ecosystem-based Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM).
Disaster Risk Assessment System

The main objective of the Disaster Risk Assessment System is to develop and operate a unified GIS-based disaster risk assessment system that covers the whole country and can identify potential sources of danger and their potential impact for the settlements. Based on these, it will be possible to determine what risks can be expected in certain settlements.
Hungary's goal is to align its adaptation directions with the EU's adaptation policy. The National Adaptation Strategy of Hungary which was adopted as part of the NCCS-2 on 30 October 2018 by Hungarian Parliament took into account the EU Adaptation Strategy as well as the Paris Agreement.

Hungary is member of the Carpathian Convention which was adopted and signed by the seven Parties (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Ukraine) in May 2003 in Kyiv, Ukraine, and entered into force in January 2006. It is the only multi-level governance mechanism covering the whole of the Carpathian area and besides the Alpine Convention the second sub-regional treaty-based regime for the protection and sustainable development of a mountain region worldwide. The Convention has a Working Group on Adaptation to Climate Change. The aim of the WG is taking into account the vulnerability of fragile mountain ecosystems and exposure of key economic sectors and mountain communities to climate change.
Hungary is the member of the Interest Group on Climate Change Adaptation in the framework of the implementation of the EU Adaptation Strategy (2013). The group organises meetings in every sixth months, every time in another member state. Recently, due to the covid situation the discussions have been held online. The members share the national experiences on climate adaptation and their strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation methods, the national best practices, and nature based adaptation solutions with each other, and with the members of the European Committee. Several topics have been raised during the recent meetings: developments in EU adaptation policy; activities and publications of the European Environmental Agency; discussion about the new EU Adaptation Strategy.
Hungary is not only committed towards adaptation reporting and measures on the national but also on the international level.

Several projects have been launched in recent years to facilitate cross-border adaptation. With the support of Interreg, a lot of projects were implemented in Slovak-Hungarian cooperation, many of them also supported adaptation.

The DEEPWATER-CE transnational cooperation project (also funded by the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Program) – introduced above in a more detailed way – is implemented in cooperation with 5 Central European countries (Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Croatia and Hungary), aimed to promote the use of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and water storage technologies in Central Europe in Western and Southern Europe.

Ministry for Innovation and Technology, Deputy Secretariat of State for Climate Policy

Climate Policy Department
Coordinating climate policy related actions, projects and responsible for policy-making, law-making, reporting
dr. Mónika Rábai
head of Climate Policy Department

Mining and Geological Survey of Hungary

Coordination adaptation policies (161/2017 (VI.28.) Governance regulation)
Pál Selmeczi

Relevant websites and social media source

[Disclaimer]
The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and updates by the EEA member countries. However, for those pages where the information is last updated before 01/01/2021, the information presented is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and for reporting other information relevant to climate change' and updates by the EEA member countries.'