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The Russian War in Ukraine Has Resulted in a Staggering 180 Million Tonnes of CO2 Emissions

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Photo: The Russian War in Ukraine Has Resulted in a Staggering 180 Million Tonnes of CO2 Emissions. Source: president.gov.ua
Photo: The Russian War in Ukraine Has Resulted in a Staggering 180 Million Tonnes of CO2 Emissions. Source: president.gov.ua

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting directly from the Russian aggression and the ensuing full-scale war in Ukraine have reached 180 million tonnes. This volume is equivalent to the average annual emissions of a medium-sized European country, such as the Netherlands, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials noted that a year ago, there were reports of 97 million tonnes of additional CO2 emissions due to the hostilities in Ukraine. This year, the figures have almost doubled. The cost of such environmental damage is estimated to exceed 11 billion dollars.

According to the European Climate Foundation and the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Initiative, the primary source of CO2 emissions related to military activities is fuel consumption. The largest emissions volumes are typically associated with the use of jet fuel for aviation (which can account for more than two-thirds of the total consumption) and diesel fuel (which can account for about 20% of the total consumption).

Fuel consumption is only part of the overall negative impact on the climate from the war. Other factors, such as the carbon footprint of materials used for the production of equipment and ammunition, as well as the procurement of various goods and services, can outweigh the impact of fuel usage. Supply chain emissions can be 2-5 times higher than operational military emissions.

The restoration of infrastructure also causes significant emissions, particularly given the extensive damage during the war. This includes the restoration of infrastructure in the energy sector, as well as in the industrial and private sectors, which have also been heavily affected by Russian attacks.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine also noted that despite the challenges, Ukraine is currently finalizing a number of climate policy documents. These include the Climate Policy Strategy until 2035, the Climate Law aimed at the low-carbon development of Ukraine, and the draft Strategy for the Implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System in Ukraine for the period until 2033 and its operational plan.

"We remain committed to the Paris Agreement, despite the hostilities. This includes new financial mechanisms under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement – Memoranda have already been signed with major players such as Switzerland and Japan," said Ruslan Strilets, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine.

It should be noted that The Gaze previously reported that 170 bison in the Romanian mountains will help prevent up to 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. It is noted that bison grazing recycles nutrients to fertilize the soil, disperses seeds, and compacts the soil to prevent the release of accumulated carbon dioxide.

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