As governments across the world are urged to address the growing danger of global warming, the Russian leadership has come out with a “national adaptation plan” that puts a positive spin on climate change, CBS News writes.
In the document published on a government website last weekend, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev outlined the plans that describe the potential benefits of global warming even as the country seeks to cope with its adverse effects.
As the document acknowledges, Russia is warming two and a half times faster than the rest of the globe, with consequences of climate change set to “have a significant and growing impact on the country’s socio-economic development, living conditions, human health and on the economy.”
But in addition to negative effects such as increased flooding, greater risk of wildfires and the melting of permafrost, the Russian government lists some “potentially positive” changes.
For example, shorter winters mean residents can save on home-heating fuel, the document says. Less Arctic ice also makes it easier for Russian ships to navigate the Arctic Ocean, opening new sea routes, while more land can be used to grow crops as once-frozen areas thaw out.
The plan puts forth some broad measures to tackle the effects of climate change, including constructing dams, using drought-resistant crops and temporarily resettling people in the line of danger.
Much like U.S. President Donald Trump, who has described the idea of man-made climate change as a “hoax”, Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied that humans are responsible for climate change.
“Nobody knows the origins of global climate change,” Putin said at his annual press conference last month. “In the history of our Earth there have been periods of warming and cooling and it could depend on processes in the universe,” he said, while acknowledging the challenge of dealing with environmental changes.