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Copyright: UC Davis Humphrey Program

Between Permafrost and Wildfire – Navigating Climate Change in Russia

Recent climate-related disasters in Russia have included wildfires that raged across Siberia in 2019, destroying more than three million hectares of forest and rapidly contributing to the thawing of permafrost – which is likely to exacerbate the severity of wildfires even further. Moreover, Russia is warming faster than the global average — its median annual air temperature has increased 2.5 times more rapidly than the average global air temperature since the mid-1970s.

The Russian Government recently published a plan that proposes strategies for dealing with these effects of global warming. In response to the issue, Angelina Davydova, GDL member and observer of the UN climate negotiation process, shares her thoughts on Russian climate protection activities and policies as well as the regional impacts of climate change in Siberia.

For the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Angelina offers a brief evaluation of the Russian Government’s latest plan to adapt to the negative impact of global warming and to take advantage of its opportunities (6-minute read).

For German speakers, a more in-depth read can be found in the Energiewende Magazin, in which Angelina casts a hopeful view on the efforts of a father and son to restore the Arctic ecosystem to its original state (10-minute read).

Published on February 10, 2020.

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Angelina Davydova

Angelina Davydova is an environmental journalist from Saint Petersburg, Russia, and regularly contributes to Russian and international media, including the Kommersant, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Science magazine. She specializes in economic and political aspects of global and Russian climate policy, and has been covering the UN climate negotiations since 2008.

She teaches at the Saint Petersburg State University School of Journalism and the Saint Petersburg National research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics. She is also Director of the Office of Environmental Information in Saint Petersburg (a non-profit organization focusing on developing environmental journalism in Russia and neighbouring countries and promoting international cooperation in the environmental and climate fields).

She was a Reuters Foundation Fellow at Oxford University in 2006 and was a participant of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) at UC Berkeley in 2012. In 2018-2019, she was a Humphrey Fellow at UC-Davis. 

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Read more about her thoughts on how to navigate climate change in Russia here.

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