picture of Gergely Karácsony and Greenpeace

Despite a mutual agreement back in July, Greenpeace Hungary says that Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony has not yet set a deadline for removing obsolete diesel vehicles from the roads. The environmental organization has been sharply critical of the mayor for failing to deliver on his promises.

“Despite its promises, the leadership of the capital still has not submitted a plan for restricting old, polluting vehicles,” Greenpeace Hungary said on its Facebook page.

Instead of setting an immediate deadline for restricting obsolete diesel-consuming vehicles that have long been banned from Western European cities, Gergely Karácsony promises for now only to hold a public consultation on the subject, which will do precious little for reducing air pollution in Budapest.

-writes the environmental organization, which recalls that it handed over its Clean Air! petition to the mayor in July, in which nearly 45,000 people demanded that the city administration gradually start banning polluting vehicles from Budapest and promote the spread and development of sustainable transport in the capital.

When the petition was handed over, the mayor stated that setting a target date for banning polluting vehicles from certain parts of Budapest would be put before the City Council this year.

We still expect capital leadership to publish its timetable for banning polluting vehicles as soon as possible, and to set out when and what steps it intends to take to develop and spread sustainable mobility in Budapest.

-wrote Greenpeace Hungary, adding there is a huge need for changes in this area, despite air quality improving slightly due to coronavirus-induced lockdowns last year.

But the environmental NGO also stated that it was not exactly satisified with Hungary’s performance at the national level either, as it believes that the government still has to live up to the promise it made in 2020 to limit the importation of polluting vehicles.

The government does not excel in supporting the development of urban public transport either. It has taken money away from municipalities to such an extent that it is practically impossible to run public transportation at a high standard. In the interests of the health of the Hungarian people, we expect concrete and meaningful action from Hungary’s legislators at both the city and government levels on cleaning up the air.

-stated the organization.

[Index][Photo: Greenpeace Magyarország / Facebook]

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By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.