June 20, 2019 / 8:52 AM / 3 months ago

Visegrad group to agree common stance on EU's 2050 climate goals: Hungary

FILE PHOTO: Senior Fidesz lawmaker Gergely Gulyas, who will be Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff, speaks to Reuters in an interview in Budapest, Hungary on May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Krisztina Than

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic - the so-called “Visegrad Four” countries - will agree a common stance on the European Union’s 2050 climate goals, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff said on Thursday.

The EU has agreed to substantial reductions of carbon emissions by 2030 and its executive, the Commission, wants the bloc to reduce them to zero by 2050 to help stop global warming.

EU leaders will debate whether to target going carbon-neutral by 2050 at a summit starting on Thursday.

“In the debate about 2050 we will form a common position with the Visegrad Four,” chief of staff Gergely Gulyas told a news conference. He did not say what the position would be.

With Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, joining a growing number of EU nations backing zero emissions by mid-century, momentum has built for leaders to agree the target at the summit.

Eastern European nations have been cautious about steeper emissions cuts due to concerns over the economic impact.

Hungarian environmental organizations, including Greenpeace Hungary, called on Hungary’s government to show a clear commitment to going carbon-neutral by 2050.

Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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