Hungary’s president calls for broadening cities initiative to tackle climate change
At a meeting of state leaders on climate change, President János Áder said late on Tuesday that regional and municipal cooperation in curbing greenhouse gas emissions should be expanded.
Organised on the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly, the meeting looked at possible further action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the Paris climate accord adopted in 2015 is “an important milestone but not the final goal” in the fight against climate change, Áder told MTI. “Even if all countries fulfil their commitments, global warning might still exceed the critical 2 C.,” Hungarian president cited Guterres as saying.
Áder noted at the meeting that organisations comprising regions and municipalities fighting climate change have made great headway in the past years. Under, an organisation launched by California governor Jerry Brown,
now encompasses over one billion people in various regions and cities in the world, he said.
Members pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050, although some members are keen to achieve a 95 percent reduction, Ader noted.
Áder offered to cooperate in further expanding the member list, noting that
Budapest is the only member from the CEE region.
He also suggested that members outline their plans until 2060 instead of 2050.
Commenting on the fact that the USA has withdrawn from the Paris accord and also stayed away from Tuesday’s meeting, Áder said: “We should use the opportunities offered by the commitment of many American states and cities to fight climate change — California is, for example, very committed to implementing the Paris agreement — rather than lamenting the withdrawal of the US.”
Tuesday’s meeting was attended by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Jacob Zuma, president of the Republic of South Africa and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Áder noted that Guterres had announced his intention to organise a further international summit on climate change in New York in 2019. He added that there would be several opportunities to talk about related issues in the meantime, such as upcoming conferences in Paris, Bonn and Katowice.
On Tuesday, Áder also attended the UN General Assembly’s opening session and held talks with Raimonds Vejonis, his Latvian counterpart. Today, he will attend the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, meet New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and address a Hungarian-Danish water conference.
As we wrote today, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó also attended on the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York. In meetings with his Romanian and Croatian counterparts, he said: Hungary will “always stand up for the interests of Hungary and ethnic Hungarians”.