27 min

Putin and the planet The Climate Question

    • Science

Russia is the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gasses. Any talk of changing that needs to focus on President Vladimir Putin. Under his leadership, Russia has become a fossil fuel powerhouse. Since he took office in 2000, Russian oil production has risen by 70%. Today, the state is dependent on its revenues. Four in every ten dollars Moscow spends comes from fossil fuels. So the idea that Russia needs to shift away from fossil fuels to prevent the worst effects of climate change strikes at the very heart of Mr Putin’s power.

But Russia is already suffering more than most from the effects of climate change. Arctic temperatures are rising faster than the global average, forests the size of countries are going up in smoke. Two thirds of the country’s permafrost - permanently frozen ground - has roads, homes, schools, oil and pipelines and even nuclear reactors are built on it. And the permafrost is starting to melt.
Putin’s latest national security document for the first time mentions climate change as a risk. But can he do what is necessary to prevent things from getting worse?

Contributors -
Angelina Davydova - Environmental Journalist
Chris Miller - Director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Eurasia Program
Vladimir Chuprov - Director of the Energy Program, Greenpeace Russia

Presenters: Neal Razzell and Kate Lamble
Reporter - Olga Dobrovidova
Producer: Jordan Dunbar

Russia is the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gasses. Any talk of changing that needs to focus on President Vladimir Putin. Under his leadership, Russia has become a fossil fuel powerhouse. Since he took office in 2000, Russian oil production has risen by 70%. Today, the state is dependent on its revenues. Four in every ten dollars Moscow spends comes from fossil fuels. So the idea that Russia needs to shift away from fossil fuels to prevent the worst effects of climate change strikes at the very heart of Mr Putin’s power.

But Russia is already suffering more than most from the effects of climate change. Arctic temperatures are rising faster than the global average, forests the size of countries are going up in smoke. Two thirds of the country’s permafrost - permanently frozen ground - has roads, homes, schools, oil and pipelines and even nuclear reactors are built on it. And the permafrost is starting to melt.
Putin’s latest national security document for the first time mentions climate change as a risk. But can he do what is necessary to prevent things from getting worse?

Contributors -
Angelina Davydova - Environmental Journalist
Chris Miller - Director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Eurasia Program
Vladimir Chuprov - Director of the Energy Program, Greenpeace Russia

Presenters: Neal Razzell and Kate Lamble
Reporter - Olga Dobrovidova
Producer: Jordan Dunbar

27 min

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