Date of Submission

Spring 2019

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Environmental and Urban Studies

Project Advisor 1

Adriane Colburn

Abstract/Artist's Statement

In the paper of this project the Russia’s political justifications for the signing of the Kyoto Protocol and the refusal to sign the Paris Accord are analyzed. Russia’s current adaptive strategies and trajectory towards creating a potentially devastating future for the planet are assessed in terms of their economic justifications. Overall this paper argues that the Paris Accord needs to be amended to be economically and politically fair for all signing countries. Currently Russia could lose GDP if they signed the accord, and this is presented as the primary reason for Russia’s refusal to sign. The thesis of the paper is that economic and environmental goals must coincide for Russia to make a change.

Intro to Art Component:

Russia is one of the world’s leaders on climate change, despite its isolationist attitudes towards the rest of the world. Russia is putting island countries in danger with their emissions as they gain in Arctic mining and oil and gas deals with China and Europe. There are however risks at home. With these Russia is taking an adaptive and responsive strategy. They rebuild the villages burned by forest fires, and will likely keep the majority safe from the future events. What we can infer is that climate change is a game of trade offs for Russia: while they will face accelerated wildfires, and continued threats to its coastal jewel St. Petersburg, the economy will thrive under a new gas line to Germany. Russia is isolationist in that its choice to continue emissions at a rate that could devastate the planet, yet, the state is willing to take this gamble, as Russia may be more safe than other places in this devastation and herein lies the responsibility of proper international climate negotiations and treaties. The benefits and costs to each country must be balanced through concessions. Perhaps, also it is the role of powers such as the church to intervene and prevent potential catastrophe, however, so far we face their silence. Please enjoy these images and thoughts on the current state of Russian affairs and be reminded of the importance of the effects of our actions on the planet. Yet, also remember that perhaps there are no clear right and wrong way forward in the story of climate change, simply trade offs.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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