Opposition LMP on Friday staged a protest in front of the Ministry of Agriculture against a recent government decree easing the felling of trees.
In a speech, Erzsébet Schmuck, the party’s co-leader, demanded that the “crazy decree” be repealed. She said the consequences of climate change were increasingly severe, with the central and eastern parts of Hungary suffering from desertification, “a process which will be aggravated by this government decision”.
Hungary would need six times its 2 million hectares of forest area to achieve climate neutrality, Schmuck said. “If there won’t be any forests, then sooner or later we won’t be here, either,” she said, adding that the government’s measures would result in “none of the climate goals being met”.
László Lóránt Keresztes, the head of parliament’s sustainable development committee, said the government needed to be confronted with the consequences of its actions, insisting that “the disgraceful deforestation decree is equivalent to the destruction of nature”. He said scientists, environmental activists and mayors, including ones from the ruling parties, had spoken out against the decree.
Keresztes called on President Katalin Novák to “take a stand against the destruction of national assets”.
Péter Ungár, LMP’s parliamentary group leader, said that while Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was not responsible for climate change, he was the one to blame “for us having a government that isn’t preparing us for the effects of climate change and for why we aren’t doing anything to mitigate them”.
Those who oppose the decree “will prevent this destruction of nature with their physical presence, barricades and local groups set up across the country”, he said.
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