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Ecology. Results of 2020

Ecology. Results of 2020

The 2020 was not easy for the whole world. The pandemic has left its mark on all spheres of human activity and, of course, has not bypassed the environmental one. New laws, man-made disasters, "green" victories ... What eco-events will go down in history in the past year?

World crises force humanity to look from a different angle at the vector of its development and at the ways to achieve its own goals. The pandemic was no exception. Lockdown has severely shaken the world's economy, and seizing the moment, eco-activists are calling for a sustainable recovery. Perhaps what happened will give a powerful impetus to the formation of a "green" economy, because the planet seems to be tired of giving hints ...

2020 could be the impetus for the formation of a "green" economy

2020 could be the impetus for the formation of a "green" economy, photo WEB

It is noteworthy that some industrial decline caused by the coronavirus has led to a reduction in CO2 emissions by as much as 7% compared to 2019. Such a drop turned out to be the largest in the entire history of observations, but, alas, it did not stop the process of global warming. Environmentalists have not yet been able to discuss in detail the results of the year and propose solutions to new problems - due to the pandemic, the World Climate Forum COP26, like most other forums around the world, was postponed until this fall.

COP26 would probably be a key event in the history of the fight against the climate crisis - at the summit, representatives of 196 countries were going to sign a document, which is more stringent than the Paris Agreement, defining measures that should slow the process of global warming.   

Industrial decline in 2020 cut CO2 Emissions by 7%

Industrial decline in 2020 cut CO2 Emissions by 7%, photo © kalinin_npp

Meanwhile, in 2020, the Arctic experienced a record hot summer, forest fires in Australia became the most destructive for the entire time of observation, even Siberia was on fire, tundra was on fire ... The need for a more categorical replacement of the Paris Agreement is obvious, but should we expect serious changes after its signing?

For example, last year the EU increased the financial base of the European recovery plan so that the latter can achieve carbon neutrality in 30 years. And even though the countries are still moving along the intended course at completely different speeds, all this world activity, of course, has an impact on Russian business.

Australia's forest fires were very destructive

Australia's forest fires were very destructive, photo WEB

In 2020, Greenpeace and RANEPA published the project "Green Deal of Russia" aimed at decarbonizing the Russian economy by 2050, but the budget of the "Ecology" program was immediately cut ... only 62% of them were executed, and as of September 2020 - only 34%.

At the same time, against the backdrop of the pandemic, ecotourism began to actively develop in Russia - given that 40% of the country's population lives no further than 30 km from some nature reserve, this is not surprising. By the way, in 2020 there are more PAs on the territory of Russia - now their total is 13.5% of the entire country's area. By the way, this indicator is one of the key ones established by the UN Convention on Biodiversity. In addition, last year Russia became the first country in the world in terms of the area of FSC-certified forests - now they occupy more than 54 million hectares.

The total of protected areas now accounts for 13.5% of the entire country's area

The total of protected areas now accounts for 13.5% of the entire country's area, photo © Julia Kalinicheva / WWF Russia

Another positive news is the release of a new edition of the Red Data Book. The list of animals in the Red Data Book has been updated for the first time in 23 years, and now it finally meets the real state of affairs. By the way, WWF Russia notes that bison are no longer an endangered species. 100 years ago, these animals did not remain in the wild at all, but in 2020, with a population of 1,400 individuals, they were classified as “vulnerable”.

Summing up the eco-results of the past year, one cannot remain silent about two ecological tragedies - at Kamchatka and near Norilsk. The first, according to experts, is caused by the rapid multiplication of unicellular algae, the second - by mistakes during the construction of the thermal power station, which led to the pollution of the Ambarnaya River with thousands of tons of diesel fuel. The consequences of these events are catastrophic, but they helped in solving a number of long-standing problems.

Разлив дизельного топлива под Норильском, загрязнение реки Амбарная

Diesel fuel spill near Norilsk, pollution of the Ambarnaya river, photo WEB

So, immediately after the incident near Norilsk, was adopted a law to protect against oil spills, and the tragedy in Kamchatka made it possible to identify gaps in environmental protection issues and became a prerequisite for improving the environmental control system.

Yes, 2020 has not been generous with good news, but its harsh lessons will probably force humanity to pay due attention to environmental problems. What will happen next? We hope for positive changes in 2021!

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