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Hungary: campaigning for a climate law

Responding to NGOs and scientists urging, Hungary understood the need of a national climate strategy.

Alarmed by climate change – aiming at a Hungarian climate lawthe problem

Hungary makes a significant contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. Friends of the Earth Hungary / the National Society of Conservationists aims to increase climate-awareness: climate change is a global problem, but education on climate change needs to start at the local level, involving the local community and its environment.

 

Following lobbying by NGOs and scientists, Hungarian politicians recognized the need for a national climate strategy. As decision-makers drafted the strategy, FoE Hungary contributed opinion papers, organized public actions, and lobbied – successfully – to get their demands included in the draft strategy.

 

what happened?

In March 2008, FoE Hungary organized a street action outside the parliament building as MPs arrived to debate a climate change strategy, and gave opinion papers to key decision-makers. In mid-March, the parliament adopted the cimate strategy without any changes. The challenge now is to ensure that the climate change strategy’s concepts and priorities are implemented, leading to a structural change in Hungary’s economy and society.

 

For this reason, in the autumn of 2008, FoE Hungary stepped up its efforts by launching the Climate Alarm campaign, part of the FOE Europe Big Ask campaign. FoE Hungary is calling for an effective Hungarian climate law by 2010. Key demands are the inclusion of legally-binding targets to reduce fossil energy use by at least one per cent year-on-year.

 

FoE Hungary mobilized people across Hungary to ask politicians to commit to a climate change law. They organized actions for people to sign giant postcards – and encouraged people to send individual cards or emails. So far some 2,000 people have signed a card.

 

what next?

The climate law idea is gaining increasing support among decision-makers. Several MPs and the environmental minister signed up early on, showing that the Climate Alarm campaign already has significant political support. The challenge now is to widen this support. In 2009, FOE Hungary will organize more actions, lobby forums and meetings across the country, and these will be accompanied by a strong media campaign.

 

Moro photos at: www.mtvsz.hu/fotogaleria_list_en.php?from=&which=98

 

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