Visegrad Group could power ahead with green policies

Visegrad Group countries could use green policies to multiply the effects of measures taken to restart their economies after the coronavirus pandemic is over, and Hungary could be a winner in the region, a fresh study published on Thursday said.

Mathematical modelling by Cambridge Econometrics resulted in four types of measure to achieve this goal.

Getting green policies right could put Hungary in pole position to post the fastest growth in the region, resulting in a 4 percent surplus of economic output by 2030, putting the country ahead of the Czech Republic with 1.5 percent, Poland with 1.3 percent and Slovakia with 0.5 percent, the report by think-tank’s Budapest office found.

With such a surplus, Hungary could also put itself ahead in the return to a pre-pandemic performance as early as 2025, the report said.

Regarding growing unemployment connected with the pandemic, the study said that green schemes would help the four countries return to a pre-pandemic employment level 2-8 years before 2030.

To achieve a long-term sustainable recovery, the report suggested the Visegrad Group of countries should make grants available to fund renewable technologies and upgrade their national electricity networks.

It also proposes granting discounts on the purchase of new electric vehicles in a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The manufacture of electric vehicles would strengthen the economy more broadly, it said.

Further it proposes state subsidy schemes to support energy-efficiency solutions for building upgrades to reduce energy consumption.

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