Judit Varga – Photo: BZT / Nóra Halász

Justice minister: Successful environmental policy compatible with national interests

A successful environmental policy can be pursued alongside national interests, Judit Varga, the justice minister, wrote on Facebook on Monday after attending the Council of Europe's World Forum for Democracy.

Regarding the panel discussion, Varga said public figures contributed their views on government decisions that could best promote environmental protection.

An effective climate policy only works as a joint endeavour and with the consent of citizens, she said, adding that the Hungarian government sought the views the country’s citizens through a series of public surveys on the most pressing political issues.

Hungary’s conservative green policy was on the right path, Varga said. Hungary, she added, was among the few countries to have achieved economic growth while reducing its carbon emissions and taking real steps towards sustainable development.

Hungary’s GDP per capita almost quadrupled over the past 30 years while at the same time the country cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent and energy consumption by 15 percent, she said.

The goal, Varga added, was to protect Hungary’s nature using the most effective means “without burdening the wallets of the Hungarian people”. Accordingly, the government has adopted a Climate and Nature Action Plan that bans various disposable plastics, introduces green bonds, pledges to close the country’s last coal-fired power plant while increasing forests by 27 percent, she said.

While the government is doing everything it can to save the planet, it also protects Hungarian interests and values, the minister wrote, adding that large companies and the biggest polluters should bear the biggest cost of protecting the environment.

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