The effects of climate change in Russia have become more apparent in the past years, and policymakers are recently active in addressing the issue. Yet, a lot of Russians think climate change is bad, but do not see it as a serious problem either recognize the role of human activity. Kokorin discusses the reasons such scepticism is still sound in Russia, while most of the world has adopted ‘green’ rhetoric.
The roots of scepticism are inherent in the political-economic settings of Russia—as the country’s economy is based on fossil fuel industries, reducing GHG comes against national wealth. Hence, anthropogenic climate change as a topic for many years was at all absent, either doubted by the national elites.
Even though nowadays officials have turned to ‘green’ rhetoric trying to align with a global agenda, such messages are often met with doubt. In Russia, where the level of trust in the state is historically low, science was censored for decades, and media broadcasts state propaganda, there are more sceptics than believers.
Climate scepticism also comes from the industries who do not benefit from the ‘green’ ideas. As reducing GHG is out of their interest, the companies spread the idea that emissions have nothing to do with climate change. They do so through the media channels—the green messages blend with sceptical ones, spreading doubt among the audience.
Last but not least, Russia’s vast geography and ‘cold’ weather do not help to realize the urgency of the issue. While climate change effects are visible in Africa or the Arctic, Russians perceive them as something very distant. Russian climate with harsh winters and not-so-hot summers creates an obstacle to realize that climate is warming.
A Kokorin (2017) analysis of a problem of the sceptical view on the anthropogenic reasons of the climate changes, Use and protection of natural resources in Russia, (4), 105-110
Кокорин, А. О. (2017). Анализ проблемы скептического отношения к антропогенным причинам изменения климата. Использование и охрана природных ресурсов в России, (4), 105-110
Front photo: MetLink Royal Meteorological Society