Russia unveils National climate adaptation plan until 2022
The Russian government has published a plan to adapt the economy and population to climate change, aiming to mitigate damage but also “use the advantages” of warmer temperatures.
The document, adopted by the government on 25th of December 2019, outlines a plan of action and admits that changes in the climate have had a “prominent and increasing effect” on socioeconomic development, people’s lives, health and industry.
Russia is warming 2.5 times quicker than the planet on average, and the two-year “first stage” plan is an indication that the government officially recognises this as a problem.
It lists preventive measures such as dam building or switching to more drought-resistant crops, as well as crisis preparations including emergency vaccinations or evacuations in case of a disaster. The plan is needed to “lower the losses and use the advantages”.
It says climate change poses risks to public health, endangers permafrost, increases the likelihood of infections and natural disasters. It also can lead to different species being pushed out of their usual habitats.
Possible “positive” effects are decreased energy use in cold regions, expanding agricultural areas and navigational opportunities in the Arctic ocean.
The document lays the groundwork for various agencies and stresses the need for more research on economic vulnerabilities, without detailing financing. Among a list of 30 measures, the government will calculate risks of Russian products becoming uncompetitive and failing to meet new climate-related standards as well as prepare new educational materials to teach climate change in schools.
Russia is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, with vast Arctic regions and infrastructure built over permafrost. Recent floods and wildfires have been among the planet’s worst climate-related disasters.
Russia formally adopted the Paris climate accord in September of last year and criticised the US withdrawal from the pact.