Interview: Hungarian ambassador on sustainability and China

By Wang Yiming
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 18, 2021
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Photo taken on May 27, 2021 shows the Kaposvar solar power plant in Kaposvar, Hungary. The plant is the country's largest solar power plant, and was built by China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation near the southwestern city of Kaposvar. [Photo/Xinhua]

"Hungary has always maintained excellent relations with the People's Republic of China. Our bilateral cooperation extends to many different fields and naturally climate and energy projects are no exception in this regard," said Mate Pesti, Hungarian ambassador to China.

In a recent interview with, prior to a promotional event of the Planet Budapest 2021 Sustainability Expo and Summit, the ambassador talked about Hungary's efforts to pursue sustainability. He highlighted the importance of sustainability cooperation between Hungary and China, especially on climate and energy.

Hungary's climate and ecological protection plan puts major emphasis on the field of sustainability, said Pesti, explaining that the most important aspects included the electrification of transport, a ban on single-use plastic products, the large-scale setup of new renewable energy plants, the elimination of illegal waste disposal sites, issuing government-backed green bonds in the financial sector, and increased reforestation programs.

"These steps, along with the general vision and efforts of the government for the digitalization of the economy and society, ensure that Hungary will tackle the adverse effects of human activity, promote our goals of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, and walk the path of sustainability in the post-2020 world," he added.

Between Nov. 29 and Dec. 5, 2021, Hungary will host the Planet Budapest 2021 Sustainability Expo and Summit, a sustainable development event for the four countries of Central Europe – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. 

The one-week event will include a summit, sustainability expo, interactive public programs about sustainability and a youth program about sustainability.

When asked about Hungarian home‑grown sustainability‑related solutions available for global expansion, the ambassador introduced a trade fair during the Planet Budapest 2021 event, which is designed to introduce sustainable and green innovations in Central Europe.

"During this fair titled 'Nature Friendly Development – Sustainability Expo', exhibitors from Central Europe will occupy a total of 20,000 square meters as they present the latest Central European developments that modernize the food industry, water management, the energy sector, waste management, transport, and cities and homes, as well as promote a shift towards sustainable development," he noted.

The ambassador said that a main objective of the Planet Budapest 2021 is to "offer widely applicable, innovative and efficient solutions to the challenges of sustainability to be used by all stakeholders of the planet."

He added that allowing heads of state and government, decision makers, experts and company representatives to share their insights on these matters along with tens of thousands of visitors, makes Planet Budapest 2021 the largest international event in Central Europe dedicated to sustainability.

The ambassador cited several examples of cooperation between Hungary and China in the field of sustainability.

"Chinese companies have been the leading developers of 5G technologies, which carry a great potential in reducing humanity's carbon footprint, and by doing so, in contributing efficiently to the idea of global ecological civilization."

"Recently Europe's first smart railway hub was established in Hungary, jointly undertaken by Hungary's East-West Intermodal Logistics, Huawei Hungary, and Vodafone Hungary. The hub will use cutting-edge 5G technologies for its top-to-bottom operational functions, which further reduces its carbon footprint," he said.

He also mentioned the field of renewable and clean energy. 

In May, Hungary inaugurated the country's largest solar power plant, which was built by China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation near the southwestern city of Kaposvar. The plant is expected to produce 130 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and help Hungary reduce its carbon-dioxide emissions by about 120,000 tonnes each year. 

"There are quite a few successful examples of Chinese companies developing projects in this field in Hungary," he said.

Pesti noted that Hungary also has its own strengths in the area of sustainability, such as long-standing traditions and expertise in the field of water management, which had already been introduced in projects all around China.

"Hungary is also a member of the Belt and Road Energy Partnership, so we are also actively expanding climate and energy cooperation together with China within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative," the ambassador added.

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