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Opposition on Earth Day: Govt Fails to Build Crisis-proof, Environmentally Friendly Economy

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.04.22.

Hungary needs to make a “turnaround” and focus its attention on environmental issues and efforts to “ensure opportunities for a decent life”, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said on Thursday, marking Earth Day, adding that those efforts should come “before the interests of the financial markets”.

In a video published on Facebook, Karácsony quoted Pope Francis as saying that climate change and the destruction of the environment cannot be effectively combatted unless efforts are made to eliminate poverty and to resolve welfare problems. “Damaging the environment and the planet as well as conserving huge inequalities between people are not separate sins but different consequences of a single sin,” the mayor said.

Karácsony said he believed in a “novel normalcy, a different state of affairs” after the pandemic and called for more sustainable and more humane policies both in Hungary and globally. In light of the pandemic, systemic changes can no longer be postponed, he said.

LMP: “There is no reason to celebrate” 

Opposition LMP said it was similarly ready to make a “green shift” if it won next year’s election.

Erzsébet Schmuck, the party’s co-leader, told an online press conference that “there is no reason to celebrate” Earth Day in light of an increasing climate crisis caused by human activity. She noted that average temperatures were rising in Hungary, average annual rainfall was decreasing drastically and unexpected floods were becoming more frequent. All this could compromise the country’s food production and summertime heat waves could claim lives, she added.

Summers 50 Days Longer than in the Seventies, Hungarian Study Says
Summers 50 Days Longer than in the Seventies, Hungarian Study Says

Temperature data of the last five decades show autumn in Hungary is much shorter now than in the 1970s, while spring is somewhat shorter, according to a new meteorological study. Summer, meanwhile, is fifty days longer. Ecological damage includes more frequent frost damage, fewer migratory birds and the emergence of new invasive species, including mosquito […]Continue reading

Schmuck accused the government of “failing to build a crisis-proof, environmentally friendly” economy, and insisted that the government’s ideal was an agriculture of large farms using chemical technologies. The government should also seek ways to ensure sustainable water management and improve air quality in the country, she added.

featured image: LMP’s Erzsébet Schmuck in the Parliament; via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI