Hungarian President Janos Ader – Photo: wikipedia

LMP: Opposition should jointly initiate constitutional review of climate law

President elaborates on issues of water, climate change and Covid in UN conference

Crises related to water, global warming and changes in public health conditions are following one another increasingly fast, Hungarian President Janos Ader said in his address to a UN online conference focusing on sustainability in a post-Covid 19 world, on Friday.

The conference was opened by Han Seung-soo, past president of the UN General Assembly session, Volkan Bozkir, President of the UN General Assembly, and Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General.

In his speech, Ader noted that the issues of floods, water shortage and water pollution have been eclipsed by the coronavirus pandemic over the past one and a half years while security threats related to climate change and the water crisis have increased.

Damage caused by natural disasters had further increased last year to total 300 billion dollars, the Hungarian president said, adding that the prices of basic foodstuffs in the global markets had gone up by 40 percent.

“This all goes to show that the topic of today’s conference is all the more important, since it concerns our future,” he said.

Highlighting conclusions drawn from the experience of the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters, Ader said that water, climate change and public health related crises follow one another in a domino effect. Global efforts are necessary to speed up prevention which is more effective than tackling the consequences of a crisis. The president stressed the need to adapt to the new situation, develop water-related infrastructure, and invest in science and technology research which can help develop in a record time a vaccine in the case of another pandemic.

Ader highlighted measures Hungary had taken in the fields of adaptation and prevention. He noted the installation of a monitoring system for the early projection of droughts, the expansion of the country’s flood protection system and the central bank’s drafting of a financial regulatory system to support investments aimed at enhancing sustainability. He noted that Hungary was among the first countries in the world to incorporate sustainability class in the national curriculum. In connection with the pandemic, the president noted the regime introduced to monitor waste water for the traces of coronavirus which allows to locate “a surge” of infections seven to ten days in advance.

The Hungarian president closed his address by underscoring the importance of international cooperation, noting the work of the UN’s Water and Climate Leaders’ Panel he is also a member of.

LMP: Opposition should jointly initiate constitutional review of climate law

The parliamentary groups of the opposition parties should jointly initiate that the Constitutional Court should review the law on climate protection posteriorly, Erzsebet Schmuck, co-leader of LMP, said on Friday.

The law enacted was initiated by the opposition but the governing parties have rewritten and softened it to such an extent that it is no longer in line with the basic law, she told an online press conference.

Hopefully, the top court will also declare that the purposes and the measures envisaged by the law are insufficient, Schmuck said.

For instance, the target of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases by 40 percent as specified by the law should be raised to 60 percent so that Hungary should not be forced to take rapid and drastic measures involving the limitation of fundamental freedoms in the subsequent two decades, she said.

Nor does it comply with the basic law that the climate law fails to declare the imperative of reducing energy consumption, a target that could be attained through a more effective insulation of buildings, Schmuck said.

She announced that LMP would once again submit a bill on reducing carbon emission in Hungary by 65 percent in this decade.

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