It’s Not Easy Being Green / Sarah Berlinsky

We are definitely not in Texas anymore. Budapest’s Mediterranean climate enables an abundance of trees and green rolling hills; but only after extensive efforts. Rapid industrialization during the Soviet era in Hungary contributed significantly to a number of major environmental problems, including air, water, and soil pollution. Emissions from automobiles and electric power plants have created most of the air pollution. A significant percentage of the country’s forests, waterways, and buildings suffer damage from acid rain, which is caused by sulfur dioxide in the air.

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Reforestation efforts have allowed the country to steadily gain forestland. About 6.8 percent (1997) of Hungary’s land is protected in parks and other reserves, preventing development but not the ill effects of acid rain and water pollution.

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Hungary is party to international treaties concerning air pollution, biodiversity, climate change, endangered species, hazardous wastes, and wetlands.

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Hungary is now ranked sixth in an environmental protection index by the GWICAN (Climate Action Network).

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