Reaching a turning point in efforts for sustainability will require a “more responsible approach” towards water supplies, President János Áder told a United Nations summit on sustainable development goals in New York late on Wednesday.
In his address, Áder said that Hungary was “involved in the drama of much water-little water-polluted water”.
Hungary has recently been affected by extreme high water levels along its rivers, Áder said and noted plans to build 12 flood reservoirs along the River Tisza to protect residential areas close to the river. He also mentioned that 10 percent of the country’s territory could become deserts in future.
To avoid greater trouble, we will have to raise more money in the next decade than we spent during the past 50 years”
On the other hand, Áder said that 90 percent of Hungary’s sewage was now being treated, as opposed to 20 percent 20 years ago.
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“We are proud to report that rivers leaving Hungary are cleaner than when they enter the country,” he said.
“May we live anywhere in the world, we must not have goals other than preventing a water crisis,” Áder said.
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The United Nations’ climate summit in New York has met its goal: it has lent participating countries momentum to their fight against global warming and encouraged them to take further commitments, Hungarian President János Áder told a press conference on Thursday.
Áder addressed the climate summit on Monday and participated at a conference on sustainable development goals organised within the UN General Assembly session.
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On Wednesday, Áder held bilateral talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Parties at the talks concluded that the climate event could greatly contribute to the success of the next climate conference to be held in Chile in December. The event could also encourage members to take more ambitious commitments to stop global warming, at next year’s climate summit in London, they added.
Áder noted that the New York summit had been convened with the aim of participants coming up with action plans rather than “high-sounding pledges”. “Hungary did not come empty-handed,” Áder said and mentioned Hungary’s Virtual Power Plant programme. The programme was met with international interest and has been introduced in three countries, he added.
“So far, the programme has helped us save more energy than one quarter of the output of Hungary’s nuclear power plant,” he said.
Concerning Hungary’s commitments, Áder said that the country would increase solar energy capacity tenfold and close down coal plants by 2030.
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“We will not give up nuclear power,” the president added. Hungary shares the position of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the OECD, and scientists that believe that the Paris Climate goals cannot be met without using nuclear energy, he said.
By 2030, 90 percent of Hungary’s electricity will be produced without any carbon-dioxide emissions, Áder said. He also noted plans to increase the energy efficiency of buildings by at least 30 percent before 2050.
In the featured photo: President János Áder in New York. Photo by Noémi Bruzák/MTI