Hungarian activists call on government to live up to energy promises

27 November 2013

Friends of the Earth Hungary/MTVSZ took action today to call on Hungarian decision makers to finally live up to their political promises and allocate more public funds to energy saving and environmental protection.

The 'live house' action urged the government to use the EU funds it receives to fulfil their stated climate and energy commitments.

Activists formed representations of two houses – a badly insulated one and a well-insulated one – close to the parliament and the relevant ministry buildings in Budapest.

A petition was also handed over to a high-level Ministry of Development representative and sent in parallel to all relevant ministries.

"Hungary's current EU spending proposals – mainly the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Operational Program – simply do not go far enough for the government to fulfill pledges made in recent years to introduce affordable energy savings and efficiency measures in Hungarian homes, nor to implement the necessary environmental measures that are indispensable for the protection of natural resources and human health," said Alexa Botar, climate and energy campaigner of Friends of the Earth Hungary/MTVSZ.

"If the goverment really wants to improve energy security and independence, energy saving should be top priority not only in the political speeches but in the action budgets and plans as well," she added

The government has planned less than 15% of the total EU funding (approx. €3.7 billion out of the total €24.3 billion) for energy efficiency and environmental priorities. In Friends of the Earth Hungary's opinion at least an extra €0.3-1.7 billion should be added to this budget to meet the set objectives. The focus should be on residential energy saving and efficiency – especially community energy initiatives – energy awareness-raising programmes and environmental protection projects.