Hungarian climate bill blocked by industry lobbyists

23 February 2010

Last-minute lobbying by industry has stopped the Hungarian parliament from adopting a climate law in its current term.

Following successful campaigning by Friends of the Earth Hungary's Big Ask campaign, the Hungarian Climate Bill was included on the Parliamentary agenda in mid-February and received support from all parties. But industries afraid of being detrimentally affected by the law have succeeded in blocking it at the last moment.

All parliamentary committees had previously supported the debate of the Bill and in the plenary general debate all three major parties called for the adoption of the Bill without changes.

However, wrecking amendments were submitted by two Socialist MPs, who admitted that these amendments were meant to be technical obstructions, put forward so the debate would run out of time, thus preventing the Bill from being adopted on the last plenary day of the Parliamentary term.

The amendments were backed by industry sectors included in the European Emissions Trading System. These businesses lobbied MPs to block the bill on the grounds it would be 'harmful to industry'. Although the objections to the bill were publicly addressed, the amendments were not withdrawn and despite strong advocacy efforts from environmental groups, further parliamentary debate was delayed. The Bill now needs to be resubmitted to the next Parliament after the general elections in April.

Friends of the Earth Hungary is glad that that the bill got this far and has such strong support from the public.