Opposition LMP is turning to former president János Áder, a committed environmentalist, over a recent government decree allowing the felling of trees in the interest of stepping up firewood production, Antal Csárdi, the party’s deputy group leader, said on Wednesday.
Péter Ungár, LMP’s parliamentary group leader, has asked Áder to use his influence to have the tree-felling decree withdrawn as soon as possible, Csárdi told a press conference, arguing that the “destructive decree” could do “enormous damage”, while the cost of mitigating its effects would be huge. The decree would do little to help people who struggle to fulfil their energy needs, but it would inflict an intolerable amount of damage, Csárdi said. He said Áder had “talked a lot about protecting nature” as president, adding that he now had a chance to “do something to prevent decisions that truly deplete our future”. Csárdi said the trees to be felled under the decree would have an energy value of zero, arguing that it would take them 1.5-2 years to dry out enough to be used as firewood. He said LMP was turning to the Constitutional Court over the decree, while lawmaker László Lóránt Keresztes plans to convene parliament’s sustainable development committee in the matter.
In a statement, ruling Fidesz said the leftist opposition was “deceitful” and its parties “have been demanding for months that Russian gas should be cut off”, and insisted they would “leave Hungarian families without heating”. The European Union’s sanctions against Russia have resulted in a lack of energy supplies and soaring energy prices, Fidesz said. “Brussels has called on member states to save gas and the whole of Europe is making preparations to use other heating materials than gas,” it said.
According to the ruling party, felling could be increased without damaging woodlands and “no destruction of forests of any kind is under way”.