Kinga Ludmilla Csontos

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, Class of 2021-22

  • Home country: Hungary
  • College and degree: Triple MSc in Management and Engineering of Environment and Energy (ME3), at Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) Sweden, Technical University of Madrid (UPM) Spain and École des Mines de Nantes (ÉMN, now IMT Atlantique); BSc in Environmental Engineering at Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) Hungary.
  • Current career: Head of unit for International Climate Policy at the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, Budapest, Hungary
  • Specialization: Climate change, climate finance, green finance
  • Emailklc275 [at] (klc275[at]cornell[dot]edu)

What is the most memorable or impactful experience of your career so far? 

I attended the COP21 conference in Paris when the countries agreed on the Paris Agreement, and I took part of the preparations of negotiating the Agreement on the means of implementation in terms of finance, technology transfer and capacity building. This experience gave me a unique sense of ownership over the issues of climate financing and greening the financial system.

What are the big challenges you want to tackle in your country?

Tackling climate change is one of, if not the greatest, issue of our time, and also heavily impacts my country. Hungary is leading the way in climate ambition, yet a lot remains to be done on our behalf as well. Hungary is on the path of implementing the Paris Agreement in accordance with its National Clean Development Strategy, which is our long-term low emission development strategy to mid-century and outlines the pathway for financing the climate neutral transition of the economy as well. Work has been ongoing at the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, together with the Central Bank of Hungary and the Ministry for Finance. I intend to further support and scale up this work. 

Hungary will also continue to take its fair share in international climate finance. To do so, we established the Western Balkans Green Center Nonprofit LLC, a regional climate finance center. Building on the experience of the Center we aim to establish the Western Balkans Green Fund, in direct collaboration with the Center, bringing climate finance in the Western Balkans region to scale. Through this and more initiatives to come, I intend to maintain and increase Hungary’s participation in international climate finance for a resilient and inclusive development in our region.

How do you think your Humphrey Fellowship and your time at Cornell will help boost your career?

I am given the opportunity to study in the highest level of education and open doors to exchange with high-level professionals in the US working in the field of climate change. My personalized Humphrey program at Cornell University improves my expert knowledge and leadership skills. Through my professional development activities and professional affiliation, I will work with US professionals as well as international counterparts based in the US, allowing me to build a unique network of professionals for future global collaboration and partnership in the years to come.

What does public service mean to you?

I engaged in public service because I wanted to work for a cause. This cause is global development and the promotion of equality around the world. When I started to understand the levels of global inequality, I had a realization that I must work on tackling it. I find that climate professionals are uniquely placed to act upon resilient and inclusive development. In the field of climate change, we are in the pursuit of a sustainable, net zero, and just transition. We are working to stay within the planetary boundaries for the benefit of our and future generations, and we can no longer leave anyone behind.

Tell us a fun fact about you. 

I started learning acting recently. That is a surprise even to me, as I had never considered it before, and now I find that it is a great boost to my personal and professional life as well.

What would be your personal motto? 

From those who had been given much, more is expected.

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