On 5th and 6th October 2022 took place at Budapest the Hungarian EUKI Community Conference. This project is part of the European Climate Change Initiative (ECCI). EUKI is a project funding instrument of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The aim is to promote climate cooperation within the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The conference was attended by Ulrike Leis, Deputy Director of the European Climate Initiative.

The EUKI-funded project aims to promote the climate-smart use of EU funding. More broadly, the project contributes to the rapid decarbonisation of the EU economy. Representatives of partner organisations from eight countries also attended the conference.

A series of presentations at the conference demonstrated that the road from environmental initiatives to advocacy and to implementation is long, but not impassable. “Breaking down the barriers to low-carbon investment in Budapest” was presented by Ámon Ada, Senior Climate Advisor to the Mayor of Budapest, energy and climate policy expert and public figure. In his presentation, she stressed that energy investments pay off in the long term, and that the long-term impact is preceded by effective short-term action. At the same time, she highlighted the promising potential of geothermal energy in Hungary.

There is a need for openness to green investments, confirmed Péter Olajos, President of CEEweb,  during the moderated discussion. Matthias Casper, European climate policy adviser to the German Federal Ministry of Transport, said during the panel discussion that investment in renewable energies is needed.

In addition to the theories, the conference also had practical activities. Viktor Jósa from CliMates guided the participants through a possible series of climate policy actions using a climate policy simulator. The group interactive exercise on climate policy simulation drew on all the knowledge and commitment of the participants to reduce global warming.

Participants took part in a walk-shop tour of downtown Budapest, led by colleagues from the Hungarian partner of the EUKI project, the Clean Air Action Group. The aim was to show the “good and bad practices” of EU funding allocation in Budapest. 

The need to identify sources of funds and energy for sustainable development and environmental protection was highlighted in the presentations of both the political arena and the civil sector. There was also agreement on the need for joint efforts and responsibility to achieve a common goal.  Concrete policy proposals to mitigate climate change need to be formulated, as the climate policy simulator clearly showed that action is needed in all sectors to identify, develop and use less energy, renewable energy sources and to reduce energy use. 

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