Grace Smith | November 15, 2022
The Russia-Ukraine War has released 33 million tons of greenhouse gases into the air, according to Ruslan Strilets, Ukraine’s environmental protection minister. The number of climate-warming gases that have been released is equivalent to adding 16 million cars to the UK’s roads for two years.
“Russia is doing everything to shorten our and your horizons,” Strilets said at the United Nations COP27 Climate Summit on Nov. 14. “Because of the war, we will have to do even more to overcome the climate crisis.”
The number of emissions was calculated by counting all emissions including forest and agricultural fires and the oil burnt after attacks on storage depots. Strilets also said at the conference that 49 million more emissions are expected to be released into the air during the process of rebuilding Ukraine. As of Nov. 14, 2,200 environmental damage cases have been recorded.
Strilets also said the war is harming animals immensely. According to BBC, 600 animals and 750 plants and fungi are under threat. Over 700 dolphins in the Black Sea have died since the war. Scientists said the dolphins are having trouble communicating with one another and struggling to find food and navigate.
Along with impacts on the environment and animals, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February resulted in large food and gas shortages, causing surrounding countries to increase production to compensate.