Sunday, 5 January 2020

Russian government to 'use the advantages' of climate change

Russian government to 'use the advantages' of climate changeRussia is planning to “use the advantages” of warmer temperatures brought about by climate change, according to a document published by the government at the weekend. The report notes increased opportunities for navigation and trade as ice melts in the Arctic, an area where Russia has also boosted its military presence in recent years. The two-year, “first stage” plan lists other advantages including decreased spending on heating over the winter and the possibility of new areas available for farming. But the 30-point paper also focuses on the risks of climate change and the dangers it poses to public health, animal environments and the Russian permafrost. “The consequences of (climate change) are having a significant and increasing impact on the economic and social development of the country, its conditions for life and people’s health,” according to the document signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.  Russia is warming on average 2.5 times quicker than the rest of the planet, the report said, adding that the country’s industry, transport and agriculture would have to adapt to these changes. The government said it would plan for crisis scenarios including evacuations in the case of natural disasters, and make sure climate change was taught in schools. The publication comes after Moscow experienced its warmest December on record, with authorities dumping artificial snow in Red Square ahead of New Year celebrations.  Normally the capital spends millions of pounds a year and employs tens of thousands of people to keep roads and pavements free of snow. President Vladimir Putin has questioned the scientific consensus that global warming is caused by human activity, saying at a recent press conference that “nobody knows the origins of global climate change”. But he said that rising temperatures could have “very serious” consequences from Russia.  Moscow has formally adopted the Paris climate accord and criticised the US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal




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