President Áder: 2019 could be a pivotal year in climate protection

2019 could be a pivotal year in climate protection, Hungarian President János Áder said at a reception of the international diplomatic corps accredited to Budapest.

Instead of politely knocking, the new year has "kicked in the door", President Áder said. The historic center of Havana was flooded by the sea, Indonesia has been hit by torrential rains in the wake of a tsunami, the ice covered over the North Pole, Greenland is at its smallest ever and ice is also melting at an alarming rate in Antarctica.

The president said we are carrying a "heavy burden" and time is running out for us to find answers to the ever more pressing questions. He said climate change is accelerating and despite promises to the contrary, the emission of greenhouse gases grew last year.

President Áder said that there has been very little progress in the three years since the Paris climate conference and the only "success" of the United Nations conference in Katowice was that it managed to prevent the collapse of the Paris Agreement.

The president said we are now further away from the goal defined in Paris - namely to keep global warming under two degrees Celsius - than we were in 2015 when said goal was established. He said the real issue is not the condition of the atmosphere but the future of human society and civilization.

Áder said there was still hope as we have all the required technological knowledge and even if at a great sacrifice, we can field the associated costs. All that is really needed is determination and courage, he concluded.

Title image: Hungarian President János Áder speaks to the diplomatic corps in Budapest (MTI/Tamás Kovács)

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