EU climate law in accordance with Hungary's interests, official says

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The climate law package approved by European Union environment protection ministers in Brussels is in accordance with Hungary's interests, state secretary of the Ministry of Technology and Industry Attila Steiner said after the meeting of the Environment Council, state news wire MTI reports, citing a statement issued by the ministry on Wednesday.

The climate law package includes guarantee elements that will ensure that the achievements of Hungary's utility price reduction policy will be preserved and Hungary's industry will remain competitive, Steiner said.

The adopted climate protection package will allow the European Union to reduce carbon emissions by 55% compared to their level in 1990 by 2030. Hungary will start from good foundations towards achieving this goal as the country already reduced emissions by 34% by 2020, the state secretary said.

He noted that, at Hungary's initiative, the EU emissions trading scheme will be transformed to include automatic price protection mechanisms in the event of high quota prices, thus curbing a sudden jump in quota prices. In addition, considering the war situation, the expansion of the emissions trading scheme will start in 2027, one year later than originally planned. 

Steiner noted that Hungary will receive an above-average portion of the EUR 59 billion financial funds. Between 2027 and 2032, this could mean additional funds of close to HUF 1 trillion for Hungary, which can be spent on offsetting the impact of the quota trading scheme and on programs to encourage energy transition.

The competitiveness of Hungary's automotive industry will be preserved in the long term by not having to phase out internal combustion engines in 2035, Steiner said, as the principle of carbon neutrality can also be met with conventional engines running on alternative fuels, in addition to electric motors.

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