Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony on Friday said the government was changing timber extraction regulations, “in an effort to prepare the country for wood heating for lack of gas”, and said that the energy crisis should be resolved through responsible energy policy rather than “cutting down forests”.
A government decree published late on Thursday will again allow clear-cutting in protected forests within the boundaries of Budapest, and set back other “hard-won achievements” in their protection, Karácsony said on Facebook.
Karácsony said the government “has had years to realise” that real utility price cuts came by insulating buildings, and the use of passive houses and sustainable energy resources. “Had they listened to us, they wouldn’t need to destroy the habitats of many animals and erase woods that could otherwise grow for decades,” he said.
The poorest Hungarians have always been heating with wood, and so were left out of the utility price cut scheme, Karácsony said, and called on the government to provide “substantial support” for those groups.
“And they have a duty to consult with us, the local authorities, before they lay waste to our forests,” he said.
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