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  • Proposals for low-carbon agriculture production strategies between 2020 and 2030 in Hungary

    When viewed from the perspective of climate policy, agriculture as a separate sector is one of the most difficult development areas to assess. One of the reasons for this is the problem of the localization of greenhouse gas emitters, caused by the fact that production takes place in small or dispersed production units. The special circumstance that unit production takes place in complex interactive systems (food, feed, energy sources, main products, by-products, etc.) is yet another special factor, which in addition makes it significantly more difficult to measure and identify the GHGs they emit than if they were a uniform production plant. Additionally, there are few sectors outside agriculture where decision-makers encounter such strong opposition and lobby interests when developing limiting regulations. This stems from the fact that following World War II, European decision-makers and the Common Agricultural Policy elevated agriculture to a prominent role whose importance was indisputable. As a result, both climate policy and other measures that would result in any reduction of the priority of the sector are very difficult to implement, since the players involved always reason that limitations would restrict their competiveness and the security of their production. In addition, the uncertain nature of regulatory elements also poses a grave problem. As an example, the name of the sector itself – the LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) sector – shows that the strategy for reducing the greenhouse gasses emitted by the whole sector would be significantly different if these units were treated separately (agricultural land use, forest, not-cultivated areas). Taking the above into account, the present study aims to identify development directions that in turn allow those low-carbon development directions to be pinpointed within animal husbandry and plant production that have the greatest feasibility and can contribute to decreasing the GHG environmental load exerted by agriculture.

  • Low-carbon innovation policy with the use of biorenewables in the transport sector until 2030

    The topic of the present study deals with the changes and future trends of the European Union’s climate policy. In addition, it studies the manner in which Hungary’s transport sector contributes to the success of the above. The general opinion of Hungarian climate policy is that the country has no need of any substantial climate policy measures, since it will be able to reach its emission reduction targets anyway. This is mostly true, because the basis year for the long term goals is around the middle/end of the 1980’s, when Hungary’s pollution indices were entirely different than today due to former large-scale industrial production. With the termination of these inefficient energy systems, Hungary has basically been “performing well” since the change in political system without taking any specific steps in the interest of doing so. The analysis of the commitments for the 2020-2030 climate policy planning period, which defined emissions commitments compared to 2005 GHG emissions levels, has also garnered similar political reactions in recent years. Thus, it is not the issue of decreasing GHG emissions but the degree to which possible emissions can be increased stemming from the conditions and characteristics of economic growth that is important from the aspect of economic policy. In 2005, the Hungarian transport sector’s emissions amounted to 11 million tons, which is equal to 1.2% of total EU emissions, meaning it does not significantly influence total transport emissions. However, the stakes are still high for developing a low GHG emission transport system, since that will decide whether Hungary can avoid those negative development tendencies that have plagued the majority of Western European transport systems. Can Budapest avoid the scourge of perpetual smog and traffic jams? Can it avert the immeasurable accumulation of externalities on the capital city’s public bypass roads caused by having road transport conduct goods shipping?

    JEL classification: Q58

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