Szijjarto: Competitiveness, environment protection must go hand in hand

Hungary firmly believes that competitiveness and environment protection must go hand in hand and takes it upon itself to preserve a liveable planet for future generations, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said during a break in a meeting with his European Union counterparts in Brussels on Monday.

Speaking to Hungarian reporters about a planned video call with US climate envoy John Kerry on the global issues surrounding environment protection and the fight against climate change, Szijjarto said Hungary would also do what it can to ensure that Europe’s industrial sector stays strong and maintains its competitiveness.

“It’s important that we don’t give into the pressure coming from Brussels on the issue of nuclear energy,” Szijjarto said. “We must stand by the facts, because nuclear energy is a clean, safe and cheap energy source.”

“We must withstand the pressure being applied against the use of nuclear energy,” the minister said. “If nuclear energy were to be cut from Hungary’s energy mix, we wouldn’t be able to continue reducing our harmful emissions, create a cleaner environment or protect the achievements of the household utility bill cuts.”

Hungary is the “champion” of eco-friendly growth, not only because it was the first EU country to ratify the Paris climate accord, but also because it has been able to increase its economic output while reducing its harmful emissions, Szijjarto said. Before the coronavirus crisis, Hungary was one of only 21 countries in the world to accomplish this, he added.

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