Hungary country profile - SDGs and the environment

Briefing Published 02 Dec 2020 Last modified 02 Dec 2020
3 min read
Photo: © Photo by Antoine Petitteville on Unsplash
Hungary considers universal access to clean water and sanitation an important element of sustainable development, which is why it highlights SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) as a standalone goal. The country’s other main environmental goals are combatting climate change (SDG 13), increasing biodiversity (SDG 15), protecting renewable natural resources and ensuring the responsible management of non-renewable resources (SDGs 7, 12) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, 2018).

National strategies and programmes supporting actions towards SDGs with an environmental dimension (National Environmental Programme, National Framework Strategy on Sustainable Development, etc. and their implementation reports) are being developed through strong stakeholder involvement and consultation. Stakeholder representatives are members of the National Environmental Council and National Council on Sustainable Development.

Hungary’s actions towards SDGs with an environmental dimension focus primarily on SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 15.  

To strengthen its commitment to environmental sustainability, Hungary established a new Directorate for Environmental Sustainability within the Office of the President in 2015. The Directorate maintains contact with national and international bodies, educational institutions, and organisations, prepares background information and supports the President’s Office in issues pertaining to sustainable development (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, 2018).  

Hungary deems environmental education and education on sustainability (including awareness raising among decision-makers) essential as environmental awareness is the basis for behaviour change. For this reason, the country initiated the Green Kindergarten Network, the Eco-School Network and several environmental sustainability programmes.

Hungary submitted a VNR to the UN in 2018.  

In Hungary, line ministries are responsible for SDG action within their respective domains. An Interministerial Coordination Mechanism was established in 2017 and is made up of representatives from each line ministry, the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, civil society, academia and the private sector. The National Framework Strategy on Sustainable Development (NFSSD) 2012-2024 also assigns responsibilities to municipalities in terms of the sustainable development of cities. Civil society organisations were invited to participate in the development and adoption of the NFSSD. The Business Council for Sustainable Development in Hungary also participated in the SDG national adaptation process, including the review of the VNR (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, 2018).

The Hungarian Central Statistical Office has published sustainable development indicators every two years since 2007, most recently in 2015, in English (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, 2018), and in 2019, in Hungarian). Currently, data are available in Hungary for approximately 75 % of the SDG indicators.

Many of Hungary’s SDG actions have faced financial barriers as it is a great challenge to find and allocate the appropriate sources. Improved sectoral integration and coordination would better facilitate the country’s actions on SDGs with an environmental dimension (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, 2018).

The Hungarian government tries to involve the broad spectrum of stakeholders (civil society, businesses, scientific community, etc.) in planning and implementing the SDGs. For example, in 2018, the Hungarian VNR was the result of a comprehensive public consultation in cooperation with the Civil Roundtable for Sustainable Development Goals (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, 2018).

The Climate and Environmental Protection Action Plan was announced on 16 January 2020 by the prime minister. It proposes eight action points, including waste management, environmentally friendly technologies for companies, renewable and carbon-neutral energy production, energy efficiency, reforestation on the basis of new-born babies (10 trees/baby),  wider availability and use of affordable electric cars and the launch of the green bus programme, and the introduction of green government bonds.


Ministry of Agriculture, 2017, ‘The realisation of Sustainable Development Goals in Hungary’, Ministry of Agriculture, Budapest, Hungary ( accessed 25 November 2017.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, 2018, Voluntary National Review of Hungary on the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Budapest, Hungary
( accessed 18 November 2019.

UN DESA, 2017, ‘Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform – Documents and Reports’, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, New York, USA ( accessed 11 November 2017.


The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.


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