National Bank for a 'Green' Recovery

There is ample scope for a ‘green’ recovery of the Hungarian economy. That is the conclusion drawn by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB), which, at the end of March, initiated a call for consultations with environmental experts, non-governmental organizations and institutes on the environmentally sustainable restart of the economy following the epidemic caused by the coronavirus.

MNB launched its Green Program early 2019 to mitigate the risks associated with climate change and other environmental problems, to expand green financial services in Hungary, to widen the related knowledge base in Hungary and abroad, and to reduce financial market participants’ and its own ecological footprint. The Program consists of three pillars: the various initiatives include elements about (i) the financial sector, (ii) the development of the MNB’s social and international relations and (iii) the further greening of its own day-to-day operations.

The epidemic situation caused by the coronavirus not only means illness and deterioration of people's health, but also adversely affects the economy. A press release by MNB says the bank intends to promote the most effective economic recovery after an acute epidemic. However, it is important that this economic recovery is also ecologically sustainable.

The document says extremely useful written proposals for the central bank's consultation were received from 17 NGOs and environmental scientists, climate protection and energy experts. In addition, well-known researchers such as Dr. Zsolt Hetesi and Prof. Dr. Diána Ürge-Vorsatz also joined the consultation.

The proposals presented, such as the energy modernization of the domestic building stock, the revitalization of renewable energy production, the greening of agriculture, the creation of short supply chains in various industries and ideas for water management developments, all indicate a wide range of opportunities for innovative, green economic recovery. The proposals will be evaluated by the central bank in consultation with non-governmental organizations, government and market partners, in order to come up with measures and proposals to support green investments.


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