“Hungary’s National Energy and Climate Plan is an excellent indication of Hungary’s commitment to adapting to climate change, one of the important elements of which is the greening of transport, including the environmentally friendly transformation of public transport”, Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics said at a meeting with Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Lilyana Pavlova on 23 January 2020 in Budapest.

At the meeting, welcoming the transformation of the EIB into a green bank, the Minister emphasised that investment projects of an incentive nature are essential to the realisation of the EU’s climate goals for 2050, which Hungary also supports, and of the European Green Deal. “The estimated cost of achieving climate neutrality in Hungary is some 50 trillion forints (EUR 148 billion). A significant proportion of the required development projects must be realised with the investment of private capital, and in addition to EU and domestic funding, the European Investment Bank is also playing an important role in the mobilization of this capital”, Mr. Palkovics highlighted.

According to plan, by 2026 half of the EIB’s total loan placement could be utilized in projects relating to climate change. Based on the investment demand required to achieve the EU’s climate goals, the bank could be spending an annual 33 billion euros on green financing between 2021 and 2030.

Mr. Palkovics said the funding and financing agreement concluded between the European Investment Bank and Volán Buszpark Ltd, which is contributing to much fewer pollutants getting into the air through the partial replacement of the vehicles used by coach service providers, is an example to be followed.

The Minister stressed that transport is one of the most critical sectors with relation to climate goals, generating an ever-increasing quantity of greenhouse gases. “This is one of the reasons why the government has adopted the Green Bus Programme, the cornerstone of which is funding the proliferation of environmentally friendly vehicles with alternative drive chains”, he explained.

“Within the framework of the Green Bus Programme, all buses over ten years old involved in public transport will be replaced by modern, environmentally friendly buses, according to plan with the involvement of 60 percent Hungarian manufactured buses. As part of the new national bus strategy, the government will be providing a total of 36 billion forints (EUR 107 million) in funding in the upcoming years, primarily towards the acquisition of electric buses for settlements with populations exceeding 25 thousand. In addition to facilitating the achievement of national energy and climate policy goals, the modernisation of the bus park will also contribute to the improvement of local quality of life through providing an increased quality of service and assuring a major reduction in air pollution”, Mr. Palkovics explained.