Planet 2021 – President Áder: Hungary is making progress in environmental protection, much remains to be done

Hungary still has work to do when it comes to protecting the environment, but it must also recognize what it has achieved so far, said President János Áder, main sponsor of the exhibition and the conference World on Sustainable Development Planet Budapest 2021, Recount the pro-government public television channel M5 on Thursday.

Áder said that while some may be disappointed with the results of the UN climate conference COP26 last month in Glasgow, it was “still good news” that at the end of the summit the United States and China agreed to put aside their differences and improve the climate. Cooperation. The President highlighted the commitment of more than 100 countries to reverse the trend of forest loss by 2030 as another step in the right direction.

He noted that after losing 90 percent of its forests under the World War I Trianon peace treaty a century ago, Hungary has steadily increased its forest areas.

Meanwhile, he said the three world water summits held by Budapest so far have cost 1.5 billion forints (€ 4.1 million), but the trade deals they have reached made them profitable for the state budget.

On sustainability, Áder said humanity should only consume naturally replaceable resources.

Asked about the energy policy of the new German government, der said his decision to shut down coal plants alongside nuclear plants and restrict gas plants could “turn everything upside down.” Until Germany creates the infrastructure for an efficient energy supply and long-term storage capacity for cheap electricity, it will need conventional power plants, he said.

Regarding Hungary’s energy mix, the president said that 70 percent of the energy produced in the country was carbon-free, two-thirds nuclear and the rest renewable. Once the two new reactor blocks at the Paks nuclear power plant are operational and Hungary doubles the capacity of its solar power plants, 90% of the energy produced in the country will be carbon-free, he added. .

Although Hungary’s CO2 emissions have increased recently, this was caused by the increase in international freight transport, he said.

He noted Hungary’s plan to replace its entire bus fleet with electric buses by 2030, adding that electric garbage trucks are also increasingly common.

Áder also said that Hungary was one of ten countries in the European Union that reduced their CO2 emissions by more than 30% and one of 21 countries in the world that were able to reduce their emissions while increasing their economic production. He noted that the government has also set a target of leaving no untreated sewers by 2030.

At the same time, the president said that Hungary still had work to do in other areas, such as improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

Expo in search of “solutions for the future of the young generations”

The Planet Budapest 2021 sustainability exhibition aims to ensure that the quality of life of the younger generations will be “at least equal” to the way of life today, he told pro-government public radio on Thursday. .

The event which runs through Sunday at the Budapest Fairgrounds showcases several inventions by young people contributing to a sustainable future, Áder told Petőfi Rádió. He cited as examples a composting robot and a water-efficient car wash system.

Áder warned of the gaining “throwaway society” and called on listeners to review their consumption habits. According to a UN survey, a third of clothes purchased are not worn more than once, he said.

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In the interview, Áder also referred to a campaign by the Regőczi Foundation, led by First Lady Anita Herczegh, raising money to support some 1,000 Hungarian children orphaned by the coronavirus pandemic.

featured image via Noémi Bruzák / MTI