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Hungary one of four EU states not backing climate neutrality

Attending the United Nations Climate Action Summit at UN headquarters in New York this week, European Union leaders have been proclaiming their common green credentials, the Financial Times reports. Four EU members including Hungary remain to be convinced, however.

A climate protest in Hungary earlier this year (photo: Orsolya Jambor /

Much of that noise has come from the new president-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the FT notes. She has pledged a “Green New Deal,” which is likely to include ideas for a carbon border tax and policies to accelerate Europe’s goal to become the first climate-neutral major economy in the world by 2050.

Although the EU might be the best in class at the UN this week - compared to the United States and big polluters like India and China - von der Leyen still needs to overcome infighting among the EU member states, the FT observes. The EU will not present a united front in New York on its climate neutrality pledge after four countries failed to sign up to the target this summer.

The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Poland have yet to be convinced that they will not suffer the economic cost of Europe forging ahead with the plan. For Europe’s push on climate neutrality to become a reality, the FT notes that von der Leyen will need to ensure green goals avoid becoming entangled in the most sensitive fight of all: money.