Political Science

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Climate change will shape the future of Russia, and vice versa, regardless of who rules in the Kremlin. The world's largest country is warming faster than Earth as a whole, occupies more than half the Arctic Ocean coastline, and is waging a carbon-intensive war while increasingly isolated from the international community and its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Officially, the Russian government argues that, as a major exporter of hydrocarbons, Russia benefits from maintaining global reliance on fossil fuels and from climate change itself, because warming may increase the extent and quality of its arable land, open a new year-round Arctic sea route, and make its harsh climate more livable. Drawing on the collective expertise of a large group of Russia-focused social scientists and a comprehensive literature review, we challenge this narrative. We find that Russia suffers from a variety of impacts due to climate change and is poorly prepared to adapt to these impacts. The literature review reveals that the fates of Russia's hydrocarbon-dependent economy, centralized political system, and climate-impacted population are intertwined and that research is needed on this evolving interrelationship, as global temperatures rise and the international economy decarbonizes in response. This article is categorized under: Policy and Governance > National Climate Change Policy Trans-disciplinary Perspectives > National Reviews Trans-disciplinary Perspectives > Regional Reviews. © 2023 The Authors. WIREs Climate Change published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

Publication Title

Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change

Publication Date

2023

ISSN

1757-7780

DOI

10.1002/wcc.872

Keywords

adaptation, agriculture, Arctic, authoritarianism, civil society, climate change, disaster, flooding, forestry, fossil fuels, health, mitigation, Russia, Ukraine, urban, wildfire

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