18.05.2022

Russia’s Per-Capita Pollution Hits 155 Kilograms

Russia’s per-capita pollution emissions hit 155 kilograms in 2019 due to transportation and industrial activity, according to an analysis cited by the RBC news website Wednesday.

In total, the two sources of emissions released 22.7 million tons of pollutants into the atmosphere last year, RBC cited the Finexpertiza consulting firm as saying.

Transportation including personal vehicles accounts for one-quarter of Russia’s total emissions while industry accounts for three-quarters of emissions, according to the analysis.

Broken down by regions, Russia’s most polluted federal subjects are those whose economies are dominated by major oil and gas and mining companies.

The Krasnoyarsk region, Russia’s most polluted subject according to Finexpertiza, houses the Nornickel mining giant and the Rusal aluminum producer. The next two most-polluted regions, the Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous district and the Kemerovo region, are major oil and coal production areas.

“The distribution of emissions fairly accurately represents the concentration of the largest producers of non-ferrous metals, petrochemical products and thermal power generation,” said Maxim Khudalov, the head of sustainable development risk assessment at Russia’s ACRA credit agency.

Finexpertiza based its data on companies’ individual emissions reports and transportation emissions reports from the Federal Inspection Service for Natural Resources Use.

Russia’s Wildfires Double in Size Within Week

Wildfires currently burning across Russia have doubled in size over the past week, the state-run TASS news agency reported Monday, citing a source in the Federal Forestry Agency.

“Over the week, the total area of ​​forest fires has more than doubled,” TASS quoted its source as saying. “The most difficult situation is developing in Siberia and the Far East.”

According to Russia’s agency for aerial forest fire management Aviales, a total of 148 forest fires were burning across 67,913 hectares of land as of midnight Monday. At the same time last week, 155 fires were burning across 32,984 hectares of land.

Environmentalists have warned that this year’s blazes could become the worst in Russia’s history and exacerbate global climate change. Siberia’s wildfires have already burned an area larger than the size of Greece, Greenpeace Russia said.

The Forestry Agency says it will not extinguish 91% of the fires because they are located in “control zones.” Forests fall into control zones when the fires have no effect on local populations and when the cost of extinguishing them is greater than the residual damage of the fires.

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