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Hungary’s government this past week adopted a climate protection action plan which aims to make 90% of the electricity generated in Hungary carbon-free by 2030, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his state-of-the-nation address. Orbán said serious steps needed to be taken to maintain achievements because “a climate crisis is looming, the population is declining and dark shadows are hanging over Europe’s economy”. He said it was clear from his government’s plan that it was prepared to be accountable for it in 2030. Detailing the plan, the prime minister said that as of July 1, the government will start eliminating illegal waste sites and penalising polluters. Single-use plastics will be banned and a deposit return scheme will be introduced for glass and plastic bottles and cans, he said. The action plan will also protect rivers from waste flowing in from abroad, Orbán added. The government will also introduce stricter regulations for multinational companies, mandating the use of environment-friendly technologies. Further, the government will allocate 32 billion forints (EUR 95.3m) towards supporting renewable energy production by small and medium-sized companies over the next two years. Under the plan, ten new trees will be planted for every newborn in Hungary and by 2030 the proportion of the country’s forest area will be increased to 27%. Over the next ten years the capacity of solar power plants will be increased six-fold. The government will support the production and purchase of cheap electric vehicles and by 2022 new buses in public transport will all be electric, Orbán said. A so-called green government bond will be introduced with the government vowing to spend all returns on them on climate-friendly schemes, the prime minister said.
Orbán said climate protection had become “politically fashionable”, but “all the empty talk cheapens the seriousness of the issue”. The prime minister said it was “time to act instead of just talking”.