War resulting in major environmental damage: Ukraine at COP27

Image: COP27/Shutterstock.com

Ukrainian environment minister claims the conflict caused direct emissions of 33 million tons of greenhouse gases, aside from destroying plant and animal life in the country

The Ukraine government has claimed that the ongoing war has caused the release of harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This statement was made by Ruslan Strilets, Ukraine’s environmental protection minister, during a speech at the UN COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

According to a report from the BBC on Wednesday, November 16, Ukraine claims that Russia must bear the responsibility for these emissions and the long-term impact of the war on the environment.  

“Russia has turned our natural reserves into a military base. Russia is doing everything to shorten our and your horizons. Because of the war, we will have to do even more to overcome the climate crisis”, said Strilets, according to the report. He further added, the war has led to over 33 million tons of carbon emissions and rebuilding everything after the war will release over 49 million tons of carbon dioxide, the report states.  

The Ukrainian government also said that they are collecting evidence of environmental crimes and aim to sue Russia in the future. Aside from this, since February 2022, when the war in Ukraine started, the country has collected over 2000 environmental crimes, the report states. This includes damage to water facilities, forests and release of toxic gases. 

The Ukrainian government now plans to use the evidence gather to seek compensation from Russian authorities for the damage.  

According to government estimates, over 600 animal species along with 750 plants and fungi are under direct threat. These also includes endangered species.

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