For a while now, President Trump has wanted to drill in the U.S. Arctic in hopes of making America the number one energy producer in the world. In early December 2020, the Trump Administration announced that they would auction off drilling rights on January 6th, 2021, two weeks prior to President-Elect Joe Biden taking office. The biggest issue here was the devastating environmental effects that this would have, particularly in Russia.
Since it is so cold, Russia has never had good farming land, but now they are actually benefiting from global warming as it is creating more usable farmland. No other country is benefiting as much as Russia. Right now, they can capitalize heavily on climate change. Just like Canada, Russia’s land is rich with natural resources and because it is getting warmer they can finally capitalize on this. As mentioned before because of more fertile and usable farmland Russia’s crop production is higher than ever before, which is a great economic opportunity. If carbon dioxide continues to be emitted at the rate it is now, Russia could gain upwards of two million square miles of farmland by 2080.
While this is good, and Russia can benefit for a little bit, the bad seems to outweigh the good. Russia is experiencing significant changes in its environment and the country as a whole is warming 2.5 times faster than the rest of the world. They are quickly losing drinkable water because the ozone layer is depleting so fast. The Arctic is one area that is going to be affected the most by climate change and Russia is finally doing something about it. Many areas throughout Russia have experienced horrible wildfires, the most deadly of them all occurred in 2019 when a wildfire destroyed nearly three million acres of Siberia’s forests. The country has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70-75% of the amount they had been producing in 1990. They are also looking into climate legislation, one being a long term low carbon strategy to be used later this year. Russia has also joined the Paris Climate Accord and they have learned that while they can use the land to farm, it will also lead to more forest fires as the Earth continues to heat up.
While Russia can benefit from the heat now, in the near future, they will be dealing with a lot more negative effects that will surpass the minute goodness that comes out of it now.