The total area of forests has grown and their condition has improved in recent years. Otherwise, no significant improvement can be observed in other sectors of conservation work. Reducing the status of National Parks and obfuscating the duties of conservation authorities are definitely signs of negative trends. Forced changes in regulations concerning the management of lands by the National Parks are especially worrying phenomena.
CO2-emissions have been declining since the time of the regime change; the carbon intensity of the economy is developing in a positive direction. On the whole, the strategies for climate protection were created in previous years, but no substantial measures have been taken. The Green Investment Scheme is run without transparency. As a consequence of the government's preferences,the use of renewable energy sources declined even compared to relatively low previous levels. The climate of the region is slowly warming.
Overall, the amount of surface area covered by built-in structures is growing and the technical infrastructure is developing, which are obviously positive changes for the population, while not strictly geared towards sustainability. Air quality and urban environment are showing improving trends, but this is more due to the economic changes having taken place after the regime change than effective environmental protection measures.
The amount of municipal solid waste produced per capita first decreased as a result of falling consumption levels in the wake of the global economic crisis, then started to rise again. It is still below the EU average, which in itself is good news. The proportion of waste deposited in landfills is continuously decreasing, but it is still very high, being around two-thirds of the total amount.
We have not substantive approached sustainable transports. No tangible results were delivered in either the energy consumption of transportation, or concerning the transition to more environmentally friendly modes of transport. The quality of the vehicle stock is improving, along with the climate impact of younger vehicles.
Industrial emissions generally dropped since the regime change, but only relatively weak databases are available. Even less is known concerning agricultural chemical residues and contaminants in food.
According to the indicators taken into account here, resource efficiency slightly increases and material consumption in Hungary is slightly reduced, but no other positive tendency can be detected. The share of renewables is very low; the packaging output is increasing, while the rate of organic farming has plummeted, in sharp in contrast with the international trends. Overall, neither the production nor consumption trends bring us closer to sustainability.
Environmental protection is the sector that has received the harshest treatment in recent years. Institutional powers and budgetary allocations have both been curbed. NGOs active in the field of environmental protection have to contend with ever decreasing financial support from the central budget. Moreover, the government has been engaged in a witch-hunt against these organisations.