Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused large amounts of warming emissions to be released into the atmosphere, Ukraine has claimed at the climate summit in Egypt.
According to Ruslan Strilets, Ukraine’s environmental protection minister, the war has directly led to emissions of 33 million tons of greenhouse gases, equivalent to adding nearly 16 million cars to the UK’s roads for two years.
Speaking at the conference, Mr Strilets said, “Russia has turned our natural reserves into a military base. Russia is doing everything to shorten our and your horizons. Because of the war, we will have to do even more to overcome the climate crisis,”.
The figure was calculated by considering emissions from forest fires and agricultural fires, as well as the oil burned after attacks on storage depots. Emissions from upstream processes such as military mobilisation are not yet known.
Mr Strilets also claimed that rebuilding Ukraine will cause significantly more emissions, up to 49 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Additionally, the embattled nation claimed that precious animal and plant life has been destroyed since the war began. The importance of biodiversity for long-term carbon sequestration was a hot topic at yesterday’s World Climate Summit side event of COP27.
In the lead up to the conference, the UN released a report estimating that current global emission reduction commitments are insufficient to limit warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and avoid the more significant impacts of climate change.
An additional report from the European body highlighted that the last eight years are on track to be the hottest on record.
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