Short-term measures include heating and cooling buildings less, as well as cutting decorative lights , Source: Gergely Karácsony on Facebook

Public utilities in Budapest should run on their own energy by 2030

Public utilities in Budapest should run on their own energy by 2030

As climate change and energy price hikes hit the Hungarian capital, local authorities try to establish an action plan to make Budapest energy-independent

Last week, authorities in Budapest held the first Energy Summit at City Hall to discuss measures to handle the energy crisis in both the short and long terms. Furthermore, Mayor Gergely Karácsony explained on social media that the main priority for his local administration is curbing the Hungarian capital’s dependence on Russian energy imports.

The main points of action for Budapest, according to the mayor, are increasing the share of renewable energy in the municipality’s consumption. In that regard, mayor Karácsony said that public utilities in the city will be able to run on their own energy by 2030.

Climate change is taking its toll on Budapest

According to Mayor Karácsony, climate action and sustainable investment in Budapest have been fairly neglected topics for years and instituting sweeping measures will be a difficult task. At the same time, he pointed out that the dependence on Russian energy imports for Europe, Hungary and the capital is no longer sustainable and needs to change.

Moreover, the mayor pointed out that average temperatures in the city have risen by an astounding 4°C in the last half a century.

After the summit, local authorities adopted four proposals to reduce energy consumption and boost local production of renewables, to be able to make Budapest energy independent. Here are the proposals:

  • Speeding up the modernisation of public and decorative lighting. As a quick measure, authorities can cut the time they are lit by two hours. In the summer there will be decorative lighting until 11:00 PM.
  • Public buildings in the capital will be cooled to 25°C in the summer and heated up to 20°C in the winter.
  • Investing in the municipal vehicle fleet to reduce energy and fuel consumption, while pushing for a bigger share in electric.
  • Public utilities should produce their own energy by 2030, making them independent from Russia, the national government and the wider energy market.

Mayor Karácsony acknowledged the fact that these measures would be costly, especially in the current economic climate for both Hungary and the European Union. He also shifted the conversation towards EU funding and how vital it is to achieve the green goals of Budapest.

At the same time, however, he pointed out that Hungary is still the only European Country to not receive its European Recovery and Resilience package. Moreover, Karácsony pleaded with the national government to address the EU’s rule of law concerns in the country.



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