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Hungary’s President: without the US and China none of the climate actions would be effective

According to the Hungarian President János Áder, the 2020 presidential US election had been the first in which climate change was a major issue.

In Autumn 2020, in his earlier speech, President Áder said that the issues of climate change and sustainability still will be among the relevant topics after the pandemic is over.

“It is not by chance that United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has sounded the alarm and asked developed countries to contribute 200 billion US dollars to the global fight against climate change,” he said.

Now it is one of the most relevant topics of the United States of America. According to the President, climate change is expected to be among the most important issues on the agenda of the new US administration headed by President Joe Biden. In his bi-weekly podcast, Blue Planet, the President discussed the new US administration’s climate policies with environmental economist Gábor Bartus.

“Among his first acts in office, Biden moved to pull the US back into the Paris climate accord, cancelled the long-disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline, halted oil drilling in a pristine part of the Arctic and set up a working group to assess the social cost of greenhouse gases,” Mr Áder mentioned.

“Although the new administration’s first measures were noteworthy, US presidents had so far minimal influence on the country’s greenhouse gas emissions,” noted Mr Bartus. “The biggest changes have come from technological and business advancements like the use of shale gas and rulings by the Supreme Court.”

President Áder stated that without the participation of the US and China in the global climate policy none of the actions would be effective because these two countries are responsible for more than one-third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The environmental economist Bartus said that global climate policy measures that “fit environmental protection into the logic of the economy” should be enacted, quoting the European Union’s Emissions Trading System as an example.

He added that if countries put a price on environmental pollution in the form of taxes or other levies, a free-trade area could be set up and those outside it would eventually be forced to invest in environmental protection. If the US, China and the EU all thought like this, the rest of the world would eventually have to adapt as well.

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