Justice Minister Judit Varga said a successful environmental policy can be pursued alongside national interests.
After attending the Council of Europe’s World Forum for Democracy, Judit Varga said public figures contributed their views on government decisions that could best promote environmental protection. The minister said an effective climate policy only works as a joint endeavor and with the consent of citizens, adding that the Hungarian government sought the views of the country’s citizens through a series of public surveys on the most pressing political issues. Minister Varga said Hungary’s conservative green policy was on the right path. 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.
The minister said that 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. The goal, Minister 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.
The minister said that while the government is doing everything it can to save the planet, it also protects Hungarian interests and values, adding that large companies and the biggest polluters should bear the biggest cost of protecting the environment.
Photo credit: Facebook/Varga Judit