The state secretary explained in an interview with a local newspaper that the Hungarian government planned to use EU funds in the post-coronavirus recovery to help the country’s transition to a circular economy.
Attila Steiner said that the energy component of the domestic plan had already been broadly agreed upon with Brussels. During the ongoing negotiations on the European Climate Act, Hungary supported the general approach of the European Council, which included, among other things, a net emission reduction target of 55% by 2030.
Among the important Hungarian achievements during the negotiations on the European Climate Act so far, the secretary of state noted that the text “It is up to the European Commission to decide on the pace of EU emissions between 2030 and 2050” was removed. It is important that heads of state and government provide guidance when setting the intermediate target for 2040, he said.
The Hungarian position on the forthcoming “Fit for 55” legislative package, which sets out how to achieve the new goal in the EU’s climate and energy policy, has not changed since December. One of the key points is to maintain the EU’s credibility on the international stage while the efforts of lower-income Member States should be financially supported to achieve their goals in a balanced way, he explained.
Hungary has already significantly reduced its CO2 emissions compared to the 1990 base year, while other Member States, such as Austria or Spain, have not only reduced but even increased their emissions compared to the base year. It should also be taken into account that not everyone is starting from the same level, he noted.
Hungary is committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and a Climate and Nature Action Plan was developed that sets out concrete steps to significantly reducing Hungary’s CO2 emissions by 2030 and to become a climate-neutral country by 2050.
Examples of such measures include increasing the country’s forested area to 27 percent, limiting the capacity of solar power plants, and increasing the spread of electromobility, the secretary of state said.
Steiner noted that the implementation of these measures has also begun in the past year with great results.
The secretary of state spoke about Hungary’s view on energy as well, saying it supports the principle of technology neutrality and the right of Member States to determine their own energy mix, including nuclear energy. The government will maintain its current nuclear power plant capacity through the Paks II project, he said.
We have also developed a National Clean Development Strategy, which outlines possible ways to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and reaffirms the government’s commitment to concrete action in the fight against climate change, Steiner said.