Air pollution in Russia reaches a new high since the last 16 years

2020-11-18

Russia has set a record for air pollution in 16 years. The number of air pollution cases in Russia this year has already exceeded three times the figure for the previous year, according to the RBC news agency.

Air pollution is considered to be the release of harmful substances or an excess of those substances into the atmosphere, which should be “the lower the better” in normal conditions. In this study, high pollution is considered to be the content of one or several substances in the air, which exceeds the maximum permissible concentration (MPC) by 10 or more times. Extremely high pollution – the excess (MPC) of substances by 20-29 times. In some cases, high and extremely high pollution can cause significant harm to the environment and public health.

The research was carried out on the basis of data from RosHydroMet (Hydrometer Centre of Russia). The main pollutants most often became various poisonous gases and other substances emitted by industrial enterprises.

The fault of the pandemic regarding contamination is not so great, in fact during lockdown biologists saw a positive dynamic in stabilisation and recovery of biodiversity. According to this study, the first winter months of 2020 the number of recorded air pollution cases already increased compared to the same period last year – from 27 to 44 cases. It is worth noting that even the minimum level of pollution (24) in 2015 is still an extremely bad indicator, and one should not be equal to it. However, according to Roman Pukalov, director of environmental programs of the all-Russian public organization “Green Patrol”, the reason for the “record” is more frequent pollution checks. That is, the data for past years is inaccurate. In reality, the level of contamination was at least the same.

The authors of the report themselves admit that the increase in the amount of pollution can be explained by various industrial accidents (since the beginning of the year there have been about ten major accidents with subsequent emissions of toxic substances into the atmosphere).

The title reads “Number of cases of high or extremely high air pollution 2005 – 2019”.

In this situation, the fact that in the draft budget for 2021–2023 the amount of funds allocated for the Clean Air project has been reduced – is quite alarming. In 2021, it is proposed to allocate 13.5 billion rubles for the Clean Air project. Less is being budgeted in 2022 – less by 13.8 billion rubles, in fact. The “extra” billions are planned to be directed to other projects within the national project “Ecology”, “for social support of citizens, economic growth and long-term structural changes in 2021 and 2022.”

It is worth noting the owners of enterprises, who did not bother with the adoption of measures to reduce emissions.Likewise, the authorities – who turn a blind eye to this, are primarily to blame for the levels of pollution. There is a problemwith air pollution all over the world. Moreover, according to one of the studies covered in one of our articles. The world’s richest people, who make up only 1% of the world’s population, are responsible for twice as much carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere as the poorest 50% of humanity.