RUSSIA’S ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Russia’s production of a significant portion of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions makes it an important country in international climate negotiations. Many of the environmental issues in Russia are attributed to policies which were put down during the Soviet Union a time when pollution control was not taken seriously by officials.
It was considered an unnecessary obstacle to development and industrialization. By the 1990s, 40% of Russia’s territory began to show signs of ecological stress due to deforestation, pollution and nuclear waste.
Extensive logging has been a major cause of deforestation in Russia and despite efforts by the authorities to preserve forests using reserves and parks; illegal logging activities are still widespread.
Inefficient energy usage as well as use of fossil fuels is another major environmental issue. 68% of Russia’s energy is produced by polluting fossil fuels and is a large producer of these same fuels.
Instances of water pollution and air pollution are also on the rise. 75% of surface water and 50% of all water in Russia is now polluted. This has led to increased issues of health in the country. Russia’s air is among the most polluted in the world.
Pollutants are released into the air from industries and vehicles. Over 200 cities in Russia exceed pollution limits. This increases as the number of cars continues to increase on the roads.
The government needs to put in place laws that regulate pollution of any kind with an aim of cleaning the air and waters of Russia.