Europe’s clean energy initiatives should be based on a rational long-term strategy, including both the needs of economic development and environmental protection, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told RT.

Hungary was the first European nation to ratify the Paris climate agreement, Szijjarto said, adding that Budapest would very much like to see Europe achieving the goals set out in the European Green Deal – a set of policy initiatives aimed at making the EU climate-neutral by 2050. 

However, the pursuit of these goals, which involves EU states cutting emissions by at least 50% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels) should not turn into an irrational political debate or senseless competition, the foreign minister told RT.

Szijjarto said EU nations need a viable long-term strategy that considers economic development as well as climate concerns, which he said can go hand-in-hand, adding that disrupting this balance will undermine the credibility of green policies.

Gas, including that supplied by Russia, “must be considered one of the main sources of energy when it comes to the transition period,” the foreign minister said. 

Unfortunately, some European politicians have let themselves be guided by political squabbles, he said, adding that “there is a very strong anti-gas sentiment in some circles in European politics,” amid continued tensions between Brussels and Moscow.