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Greener cement sector and potential climate strategy development between 2015-2030 (Hungarian case study)
Published December 30, 2015
65-74

Advancing the domestic industrial production towards a sustainable, resource-preserving direction can become an important pillar to support competitiveness in the European Union, as well as in Hungary. Reaching the de-carbonization goals for industrial production via lowering the production volume may result in less desirable macro-economic eff...ects, so decisions which concern the industry require a lot of attention from the climate policy as well. In the case of the cement sector, economic actors have to be motivated to make energy-efficiency investments and technology developments, which also show promise in terms of business efficiency. In the more natural-resource-intensive branches of the industry, both innovations and technological developments will be required to reduce the amount of used non-renewable energy resources, keep it in the industrial cycle, and reduce environmental load. The importance of greener cement will be essential in the near future to reduce the sector’s CO2 emission levels. We need to identify more sector branches which relate to sustainability, which can aid the country in establishing long-term competitiveness that points towards the de-carbonization goals. The cost-efficiency aspects of this development process are the most tedious questions in today’s business planning.

JEL classification: Q55

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73
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New tools and opportunities in growth and climate friendly greening for small and medium enterprises in the European Union
Published December 30, 2015
25-31

The role of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is unquestionable in the European economies, while financial opportunities are still inadequate for them. The more than 20 million SMEs play a significant role in European economic growth, innovation and job creation. According to the latest EC Annual Report , SMEs are accounting for 99% of all no...n-financial enterprises, employing 88.8 million people and generating almost EUR 3.7 tn in added value for our economy. Despite the fact that there is plenty of EU funding available for these SMEs, for certain reasons these funds hardly reach them. But we have to see that the EU supports SMEs by various way, e.g. by grants, regulatory changes, financial instrument, direct funds. On the other hand, SMEs and decision makers realised that the environmental sustainability has to be attached to the economic growth, therefore more and more tools are available for these enterprises. Over the last few years, public institutions, the market, the financial community and non-governmental associations have explicitly demanded that firms improve their environmental performance. One of the greatest opportunities might lay in the Climate- and Energy Strategy till 2030 as 20% of the EU budget is allocated to climate-related actions, however the easy access to finance is still a key question. Does the EU recognise the actual difficulties? Is there a systemic reason behind the absorption problems? Is the EU creating a more businessfriendly environment for SMEs, facilitating access to finance, stimulates the green and sustainable growth and improving access to new markets? The paper analyses the current European situation of the SMEs and the effectiveness of some new tools, which are specially targeting SMEs.

JEL classification: Q18

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