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Economics : Russia Essay

2382 words - 10 pages

Introduction

The world is simultaneously facing more pressure to protect the environment and the future of our world. The growing demand for consumer products and number of countries industrializing, with little or no regulation, is the main reason for the call of more regulation. 
Protecting the environment, while meeting the worldwide demand for economic growth, will in many instances require joint efforts among nations and their individual governments. In this paper will discuss one of the countries, Russia. We will analyze the history of Russia and pollution, the government involvement, and we will make a comparision and identify some legal cases on the issue in Russia and ...view middle of the document...

Consequently, the purity and integrity of the environment were seriously compromised. Russian industry has never taken proper and reasonable ecological standards and requirements, lacking anything like resource-saving waste-free technologies and efficient purification facilities. As a result, pollution in Russia now threatens the health of millions of citizens and the safety of crops, water and air[1].

Air pollution

Today, air quality is very poor in Russia, with over 200 cities often exceeding Russian pollution limits, and is likely to worsen. According to the Eurasian Development Bank, a total of 44% of Russians live in areas with serious air pollution. "Toxic substances in the air exceed the maximum allowable concentrations in 185 cities with a population of over 61 million people, or 44% of Russia's population," the report says. Air pollution is responsible for 17% of diseases in children and 10% in adults (Eurasia Development Bank, n.d.).
The report also said that emissions of carbon dioxide by Russian power stations are expected to increase 46.8% from 2002 levels by 2010, reaching 690,200 tons. The number of vehicles on the road has increased rapidly as well. In 2002-2020, emissions will grow by 57.2%, to 739,300 tons. Their emissions will offset reductions in industrial air pollution owing to reduced economic activity and greater reliance on natural gas (Eurasia Development Bank, n.d.).

Water pollution

The quality of drinking water is a major concern because more than 75 percent of the drinking water is polluted through soil waste and other waste. Poor water management standards have raised health concerns in many cities, and water safety also is doubtful in the countryside, where 59 percent of the population draws water from common wells affected by groundwater pollution (NIC, 1999).
Unsanitary runoff from populated places and agricultural sites contributes heavily to pollution of sources that ultimately provide water for domestic use; the quality of drinking water declines noticeably during spring floods, when such runoff is heaviest. Rudimentary portable filters are not widely available. An estimated 8 percent of wastewater is fully treated prior to dumping in waterways; most water treatment facilities are obsolete, inefficient, and generally overwhelmed by the volume of material that now passes through them, but funding is not available to replace them (NIC, 1999).

Soil and forest pollution

Russia is also losing land and forest through pollution. Erosion carries away as much as 1.5 billion tons of topsoil every year. In the past twenty-five years, Russia's arable land area has decreased by an estimated 33 million hectares (NIC, 1999). Experts fear that agricultural land management may deteriorate further under Russia's new land privatization as individual farmers try to squeeze short-term profit from their new property.
In the early 1990s, an estimated 50 percent of arable...

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