Hungary will honour its climate protection commitments for 2030, President János Áder said in an interview broadcast on public Kossuth Radio on Friday morning.
Citing European Union figures, Áder said that Hungary had reduced its carbon-dioxide emissions by 31.9 percent between 1990-2017. He added that the rate of reduction was similar to that of Denmark and higher than in several other EU members. He also said that Hungary had increased its woodlands, which helps absorb carbon-dioxide.
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Hungary is among 21 countries worldwide that managed to increase its economic growth while reducing carbon-dioxide emissions and energy consumption, Áder said, adding that the achievement was largely due to changing technologies after the year 2000.
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He also said that at least 90 percent of Hungary’s power production could become CO2-free by 2030, once the Paks nuclear plant upgrade is complete and solar energy production is further increased. Coal-fuelled power plants will also need to be shut down in part or in full by 2030, or they will need to be converted to other fuels such as natural gas, he added.
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Climate protection requires “starting actual work at last” rather than “ceremonious declarations”, Áder said and added that further delays could make the climate situation much worse in 5-10 years. He warned that the world’s CO2 emissions have increased rather than the opposite since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed.
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Answering a question if large companies could be convinced to contribute to climate protection, Áder said that they could either be made interested in doing so or could be forced through legislation. “Either way is acceptable”, he said but added that there are many good examples including Hungarian companies which have changed their attitude.
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Concerning Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg, the president said it was good that her movement met with a lot of publicity. He suggested, however, that politicians have not yet done their job and cannot “sit back” only because there is a “political PR action” around an issue.
Featured photo illustration by György Varga/MTI