Hungary Threatens to Block EU’s Fit for 55 Climate PackageReading Time: < 1 minutes
Hungary’s Minister Heading the Prime Minister’s Office, Gergely Gulyás said that the Hungarian government finds the EU’s Fit for 55 package unacceptable and will not endorse it. Since unanimity is required, the package will not be accepted in its present form, he predicted. Government-funded thinktank Századvég wrote in an analysis that climate-related benefits of the package are small, but, on the other hand, it will lead to a significant increase in energy prices, and will put an extra burden on families. Moreover, it does not take into account the income difference among members states, therefore it breaches the cohesion principle of the union. The most critical part of the package is the introduction of ETS (emissions trading scheme) for transport and buildings. Századvég finds that it would put a heavy burden on poorer countries and families, and could have an adverse effect: the money families would spend on enhancing energy efficiency, would be consumed by ETS.
The car industry also voiced criticism. According to the plans, CO2 emissions from new cars should be cut to zero by 2035, which would mean the end of petrol and diesel. Carmaker companies underline that they support climate neutrality by 2050 and invest billions of euros in innovative and sustainable technologies. However, banning a single technology is not a rational way forward at this stage – especially when Europe is still struggling to get the right enabling conditions in place for alternatively-powered vehicles, they say. Countries like Hungary where the automotive industry is a key part of the economy may find it difficult to adapt to the new realities too fast.