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, 22 февр. 2018, 6:51
Природа и экология

Nord Stream 2: Bad for People and the Planet

Nord Stream 2 is a project that is not receiving the critical attention it should. The gas pipeline, which is planned to accompany the original Nord Stream, is planned to run from Russia to Germany and supply 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe. Nord Stream 2 AG, the company behind the project, is fully owned by Gazprom, the majority of which is owned by the Russian government. The Managing Director of Nord Stream 2 AG, Matthias Warning, is a friend of Putin and a former Stasi member. The project basics alone beg the questions: why invest in new fossil fuel infrastructure, especially when it will benefit an autocratic, aggressive regime and known human rights violators? In fact, the project is even more problematic than many think, and Europe should reject Nord Stream 2.

The Russian government strongly supports the Nord Stream 2 project, which it sees as a highly important revenue source. But will these revenues, in turn, benefit the Russian people? The answer is almost certainly no. It is worth noting that Russian’s president, Vladimir Putin, has been in power longer than any other Russian leader since Stalin, and his governance has been plagued by human rights abuses. Numerous dissidents, including environmentalists such as Evgenia Chirikova and Nadezhda Kutepova, have fled the country after threats to their families. According to the rights group Memorial, there are currently over 100 political prisoners in Russia, and the number has been rising. Furthermore, Putin has shown his aggression outside of Russia’s borders, most notably with the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of eastern Ukraine.

Total oil and gas revenues account for 36% of the 2016 Russian budget. Expenses for the police, army, and security forces amounted to 40% of the 2016 budget. It is toward these oppressive forces that oil and gas revenues are going – not to the Russian people. In fact, Russian people are often not benefitting from the resource itself that is funding the state military-security apparatus: about a third of Russians do not use gas in their homes and instead may use even dirtier forms of energy such as coal, which now accounts for 20 to 30% of Russian energy consumption. Gas sales to from Russia to non-CIS countries have increased by a factor of 1.5 since 2012, while gas production in Russia decreased by 14 percent from 2012 to 2016. Furthermore, the volume of gas sales within Russia fell by 20 percent. Meanwhile, coal production in Russia has increased by 13%. Russia is also the third-largest exporter of coal in the world, and also holds the third-largest recoverable coal reserves. The amount of renewable energy produced in Russia is so small that it does not factor into the equation.

This matters because Nord Stream 2 AG’s primary argument regarding the environmental responsibility of its project is that natural gas is less carbon intensive than coal. While that is true, there is no evidence that Nord Stream 2 will be offsetting coal consumption. In fact, Russia seems ready to continue increasing its coal production to account for any domestic energy gaps as it sells gas to Europe. Meanwhile, Russians themselves will suffer from the increased mining of coal and from its use. For example, Krasnoyarsk is infamous for the black cloud hovering above it. As Russia exports its relatively cleaner fuels to Europe, and human rights abusers profit, the Russian people suffer.

95f2836724cdbadbcfdff4fcef6c4f67.jpgThe black sky in Krasnoyarsk. (Photo source)

What about offsetting coal consumption in Europe? That may well be, but Europe is in a far better position to increase its use of renewable energy, which is not happening in Russia. Further, to have a good chance at limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, carbon emissions need to peak in 2020, and emissions need to be reduced by 50% by 2050. Developing more fossil fuel infrastructure – especially for export by a country with ample reserves and increasing production of even dirtier energy – will not get us there.

Climate change is not the only environmental ramification of Nord Stream 2. In Russia, the pipeline is planned to run through Kurgalskii Refuge, a protected area that is host to endangered and threatened species. In fact, the Russian government attempted to change the borders of the refuge to lower its environmental significance, and preliminary work for developing the pipeline started there before proper permitting, much to the dismay of locals and scientists who work at the refuge.

Clearly, the environmental and human rights implications of Nord Stream 2 are significant and numerous. Russian activists as well as activists and politicians from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, among others, have been speaking out about the dangers of the project. The project is also opposed by the United States, mostly because it is not in its geopolitical and energy interests, but also because it counters sanctions passed by Congress that target human rights violators and also attempt to punish Russia for invading Ukraine. And yet, Germany remains steadfast in its quest to secure the project’s completion, much to the Russian government’s delight. Nord Stream 2 would be an environmental, human rights, and geopolitical disaster and we need to start speaking more loudly against it, and prevent its fruition.

акция 18 мая 2018, 13:14

Норд Стрим 2- реальная цена дешёвого путинского газа

В воскресенье 20 мая в 12:00 на Brandenburger Tor в Берлине состоится акция «Норд Стрим 2- реальная цена дешёвого путинского газа».

Общественные активисты при участии Игоря Эйдмана и Евгении Чириковой проведут это мероприятие, чтобы привлечь внимание общественности и заявить о недопустимости реализации Норд Стрим 2 (НС 2).

Этот проект предполагает строительство газопровода напрямую из России в Германию по дну Балтийского моря.

Как подчеркивают организаторы мероприятия -

"Проект

акция 18 мая 2018, 13:14

Норд Стрим 2- реальная цена дешёвого путинского газа

В воскресенье 20 мая в 12:00 на Brandenburger Tor в Берлине состоится акция «Норд Стрим 2- реальная цена дешёвого путинского газа».

Общественные активисты при участии Игоря Эйдмана и Евгении Чириковой проведут это мероприятие, чтобы привлечь внимание общественности и заявить о недопустимости реализации Норд Стрим 2 (НС 2).

Этот проект предполагает строительство газопровода напрямую из России в Германию по дну Балтийского моря.

Как подчеркивают организаторы мероприятия -

"Проект