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Ministry: Burden of Climate Protection Must Not Be Placed Unduly on EU ‘Catch-Up’ Countries

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.03.06.

The burden of European policies aimed at climate protection should not fall disproportionally on the EU’s “catch-up” countries, a government official said on Thursday.

Accordingly, cohesion and CAP funding should not be diverted to pay for green investments made in western European Union member states, Péter Kaderják, state secretary for energy and climate policy, said at a meeting of the Environment Council in Brussels.

The ministry of innovation and technology noted in a statement that the European Commission presented a draft of new EU climate rules at the meeting, and government representatives were briefed about a proposal on a mechanism to finance transition and investment plans tied to the European Green Deal.

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Kaderják said Hungary welcomed the commission’s first draft that sets the EU’s goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

A key element in the debate over EU climate plans concerns the 2030 emissions reduction target, he said, adding that Brussels’ budget draft for 2021-2027, which adds up to 1 percent of EU national income, and the draft climate law that calls for a 15 percent reduction in EU emissions by 2030, did not square with one another. Unless budget spending is increased, poorer member states would bear the burden of reaching the 2030 climate target, he said. “Hungary finds this unacceptable.”

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“Hungary doesn’t support the implementation of the Fair Transition Fund at the expense of cohesion and agricultural funding,” he said. Hungary wants a different kind of allocation mechanism to share the burdens of the transition fairly, he added.

Accordingly, member states that have succeeded in reducing their emissions by at least 30 percent compared with 1990 levels would receive more funding than the original proposal would have it. Also, appropriate EU funding should be devoted to converting coal-fired electricity plants to gas, he said.

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