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The way of life that took shape after the second world war is “unsustainable”, President János Áder said on the occasion of World Water Day, adding that both individual and global action was needed to prevent the degradation of the natural world. “We’ve polluted our waters, the products we make are losing their quality due to the exhaustion of arable land, and deforestation is depriving us of the opportunity to produce oxygen,” Áder said in an interview with broadcaster Mária Rádió. “Let’s not go down this path, because we’ll be in big trouble.” The president said water was crucial for the majority of the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals approved in 2015. He said problems encountered across the globe concerning water had to do with “having too much water, not enough water, or polluted water”. Áder noted that the European Union has backed several investment projects aimed at the replenishment of the Danube-Tisza Interfluve. The president warned of the dangers of “causing even the smallest disruption” to the planet’s ecosystem, saying that “we don’t know what kind of crisis or problems that will create.” Áder said it was difficult to predict how the global population explosion of the last century, and the resulting increase in water and energy consumption, would impact society and the world economy 30-50 years from now. The president said the world needed to move past fossil fuels and disposable goods and put more effort into recycling. On the topic of the Paris climate accord, Áder said the world today was farther away from achieving the agreement’s goals than it was at the time of its signing in late 2015.
The president said Hungary was one of 21 countries that had managed to increase their economic output while reducing their emissions. “Since 2000, Hungary’s GDP has increased by about 20%, while its greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 20%,” he said. Among Hungary’s climate action goals, Áder said that by 2030, 90% of the energy generated in the country would be carbon-free, construction of the two new blocks of its nuclear power plant would be completed, and new buses in the public transport systems of localities with populations over 20,000 would all be electric. The president noted that Hungary will host the Planet Budapest 2021 sustainability expo and world summit in November.