News ID: 263965
Published: 0709 GMT January 06, 2020

Russia unveils plan to 'use the advantages' of climate change

Russia unveils plan to 'use the advantages' of climate change
dw.com

The Russian government has unveiled a plan to adapt the country's economy and population to climate change.

The 17-page document was published online by Russia's Ministry of Economic Development, and outlines measures to mitigate the damage caused by climate change as well as to "use the advantages" of warmer temperatures, dw.com reported.

It acknowledges that changes in the climate have had "a prominent and increasing effect" on industry, socioeconomic development and the health and well-being of the population.

The two-year scheme covers the first phase of the country's adaptation to climate change until 2022, with the aim to "lower the losses" of global warming.

 

Climate threat and opportunity

 

Climate change, the report said, poses a threat to public health, endangers permafrost, and heightens the likelihood of infections and natural disasters. Russia will likely see longer and more frequent droughts, extreme precipitation and flooding, increased risk of fire as well as the displacement of different species from their habitats, according to the plan.

Expected positive effects of climate change, the plan says, include the reduction of energy consumption during warm periods, shrinking levels of ice which will foster increased access to navigational opportunities in the Arctic Ocean, and expanded agricultural areas.

The plan lists 30 economic and social steps designed to minimize the vulnerability of the Russia's population, economy and natural resources to climate change.

These measures include considerations such as the government's calculation of the risk of Russian products becoming uncompetitive if they fail to meet new climate-related standards, and preparing new educational materials to teach climate change in schools. The list also suggests dam building and shifting to drought-resistant crops, in addition to crisis-preparation measures like offering emergency vaccinations or evacuations in case of a disaster.  

 

Russia on front lines of climate change

 

Russia is warming faster than the global average — its average annual air temperature has increased 2.5 times more rapidly than the average global air temperature since the mid-1970s.

The country is one of the world's most vulnerable to climate change, with large arctic areas and infrastructure that is built on permafrost. In recent years, Russia has experienced flooding and fires, with the massive wildfires in Siberia in 2019 prompting the government to declare an emergency.

Russia experienced its hottest year on record in 2019, according to the country's meteorological office.

Russia formally adopted the 2015 Paris climate accord in September last year, and criticized the US for withdrawing from the agreement.

Tens of thousands of scientists have collated overwhelming amounts of data pointing to the man-made destabilization of Earth's climate system and the importance of limiting current and future greenhouse gas emissions.

   
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