For many years, a major thrust of Russian environmental policy has been the dismantling environmental safeguards. The exploitation of natural resources, above all of gas and oil, but also of metals and uranium, has taken clear priority over the preservation of environment. The rights of Russians to take part in environmental decision making processes have been restricted ever further in recent years. Until recently, climate policy has been seen as a rather exotic issue, and it is one that many still do not take seriously, despite the fact that climactic changes can been very clearly felt in cold Russia. Russia’s government sees the expansion of nuclear energy on a massive scale as its primary contribution to the fight against climate change. Very little progress has been made towards the development of renewable energy sources or encouragement of energy conservation.
Climate and energy policies are key issues for the Heinrich Böll Foundation not only in Russia, but all over the world.