The Activities of Clean Air Action Group in 2017 (Summary)

The Clean Air Action Group achieved many successes even in 2017 among many others the following:

  • Further progress has been made to decrease the most serious health threat of the Hungarian population. As a result of our initiative the ministry responsible for environmental protection provided professional guidance to the competent authorities and organized several informational forums in order to take actions against residential waste incineration more effectively.

  • Based on the Clean Air Action Group’s initiative and a joint request by the Hungarian Anti-Poverty Network, the company Kantar-Hoffmann carried out a national representative survey about public waste incineration. The results of the survey confirmed the conclusions drawn from the large number of complaints that our Environmental Advisory Office had received.

  • The Environmental Advisory Office provided advices in more than 2000 cases and conducted numerous on-site air pollution measurements. A great example of its successful activity was the detection of the illegal waste burning in Veresegyháza based on the complaints of ‘Waste Hunters’ (Hulladékvadász) and local residents. As a result, after many years the illegal and serious health-damaging activities were abolished and the authority imposed a fine of 500,000 Forints.

  • On the initiative of the European Federation for Transport and Environment and the Clean Air Action Group, the Hungarian Road Transport Association (one of Europe’s biggest freight company is also among its members) signed a letter, which urges EU institutions to adopt rules, which force manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient trucks.

  • We also continued our activities in protecting the City Park in Budapest. Among other things we successfully won a lawsuit that we had filed: the court abrogated the decision of the Government Office of Pest County according to which, there is no need for an environmental impact assessment procedure for the reconstruction of the Museum of Transport.

  • We contributed to the fight for the protection of Római-part, the last natural river bank in Budapest: among other things we appealed against the environmental protection permission of the mobile dam. As a result of the involvement of NGOs and professionals, the Budapest General Assembly withdrew its decision about building a mobile dam.

  • For our invitation (first published in 2015) 238 passengers let us know about BKV (Budapest public transport company) buses that heavily blow fumes or in which passengers smell exhaust gas inside the bus. We forwarded all the complaints to BKV, where the buses in question were fixed, which we were informed about.

  • With the help of a foreign trainee we made a collection of all the rules applying to smog alarms in European countries. The material attracted international interest, as a similar summary cannot be found on the Internet.

  • Hungary won the third place in a European poll where the most harmful tax subsidies regarding the Earth’s climate were ”rewarded”. Hungary deserved this dubious glorious result thanks to generous tax advantages for the purchase and use of company cars. This topic was suggested by the Clean Air Action Group to the initiators of the poll because this tax subsidy contributes significantly to the increasing car usage and thus noise and air pollution.

  • The Clean Air Action Group’s suggestions are often incorporated into the country specific recommendations of the European Commission, which gave us a great motivation to prepare our recommendations in 2017.

  • Our 57-member Board of Experts worked actively, which also included an exchange of views with the Deputy Mayor of Budapest.

  • On our initiative, the 2017 National Meeting of Green NGOs issued a resolution on what they expect for sustainable development from the parliamentary candidates of the 2018 elections. Furthermore, they asked them to sign a legally binding statement that they would fulfil their sustainability commitments if they were going to be elected.

  • The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Dr. László Székely gave the 2017 Justitia Regnorum Fundamentum prize to the following people: Csaba Böjte, Franciscan brother, the founder of Saint Francis Foundation of Déva, András Lukács, the chairman of Clean Air Action Group, and László Szarka, historian and scholar of the Institute of History of MTA BTK. András Lukács was honoured to receive this prize for the establishment and management of one of the most respected Hungarian environmental NGOs.

  • Csaba Böjte invited us to Transylvanian children’s homes of the Saint Francis Foundation of Déva where we held presentations about environmental protection and air pollution for volunteers, workers and children of their institutions.

Translated by Noémi Koncz