Gergely Karácsony, the mayor of Budapest, has approved the capital city’s new climate strategy, and energy and climate action plan, which sets the goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 against 2015 levels.
He also approved Budapest’s green infrastructure development and sustainability action plan, according to a package of documents posted on the budapest.hu website on Thursday.
Budapest’s overall energy consumption related to CO2 emission totalled 6,109,183 tonnes in 2015. The largest emissions originated from the energy consumption of public buildings, followed by transport, the documents show.
The largest cut in CO2 emission can be achieved by improving the energy use of buildings and next by increasing the use of public transport and cycling, it said.
The document identifies among the actions the improvement of the energy efficiency of buildings, industrial production and service facilities, as well as increasing the share of renewable energy sources. The actions further include improving the energy efficiency of the transport infrastructure, developing environment-friendly transport methods, increasing the size of green areas, preparations for tackling the effects of climate change during on human health during all seasons, as well as education and climate awareness.
The large-scale programme would cost about 2,500 billion forints (EUR 6.8bn), part of which would be covered by the municipal council with the rest expected to be provided by using various forms of co-financing including planned contributions by the central government, banks, local districts and Budapest residents, according to the document.
The other comprehensive plan named after Dezső Radó, former director of the metropolitan park maintenance company between 1962 and 1984 and city protection expert, defines goals in developing and sustaining green infrastructure for the benefit of a healthy Budapest.
Under the Radó plan, 53 green projects would be implemented with a total budget of 115 billion forints over the next seven years.
The plan contains as a primary goal for the city to increase by 2030 the size of green areas per an inhabitant to 7sqm from 6sqm, which in would create a new public park area of 226 hectares, or in other terms, an area with the size of two Margaret Islands. It further includes renewing the Népliget park, constructing a park around City Hall and refurbishing the Jókai Square area.
According to the documents, Karácsony also approved that Budapest public transport company BKV take out with the central government’s preliminary approval a 30 billion forint loan for upgrading its bus fleet. The mayor further approved BKV’s 2021 business plan which does not include any wage hikes.
Karácsony also approved a strategic plan on quality developments in connection with Gellért Hill and a decree for naming the square next to Nyugati Railway Station after Béla Puczi, leader of a group of Roma protecting ethnic Hungarians during an anti-Hungarian pogrom in Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureș) in 1990.
featured image: Kelenföld Power Plant’s chimney in fog (illustration); via Zoltán Balogh/MTI