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Párbeszéd to Submit Proposal to Parliament to Tighten Smog Alert Conditions

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.03.02.

The parliamentary group of the opposition Párbeszéd party will submit a proposal to introduce stricter conditions for the smog alerts in Budapest, politicians of the party said in Budapest on Sunday.

Dávid Dorosz, Budapest deputy mayor for climate protection and development, said his party’s parliamentary group and the city council have started working together for meaningful action against air pollution and have also initiated a meeting of an inter-departmental committee.

He noted that Budapest’s municipal council decided on Wednesday to provide information if the threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO) for smaller sized particulate matter (PM2.5) is exceeded.

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Dorosz called air pollution “the biggest killer”, adding that it causes the deaths of more than 3,000 people in Budapest every year. He said how the proposal is met will be a test of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s green credentials. If the lives and health of Budapest residents are important to Fidesz and the prime minister, “here’s a chance to support a really green proposal”, he said.

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Tímea Szabó, head of the party’s parliamentary group, said air pollution was responsible for the deaths of 10,000-15,000 Hungarians every year and the related diseases and deaths cost the country’s health care services 40 billion dollars each year.

She said PM2.5 airborne particulates are mainly emitted through the use of the diesel and low-quality fuels, so the party’s proposal calls for the smog alert to be extended to the PM2.5 limit value of 25 micrograms per cubic metre of particulate matter set by the WHO.

In the photo: smog in Budapest in 2020. Photo by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI