After the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the economy, the hydrocarbon wealth of the world’s largest country prevented a total economic meltdown and provided a financial lifeline.
Moscow has funneled some of the income from oil and gas exports into rebuilding the economy and improving its international status. Although Russia is not the superpower it once was, it is still a major power again that needs to be reckoned with.
Despite the country’s relative resurrection, its energy industry is still the single most important sector which is crucial for maintaining the state’s influence both domestically and abroad. Therefore, Moscow is strongly involved in its oil and gas sector and invests significant funds to remain an energy superpower. Consequentially, measures to reduce climate change are a nuisance for its oil and gas producers.
Although a warmer climate does create some advantages and opportunities for Russia, such as the ice-free and navigable North Pole and an increase of fertile agrarian grazing lands, it also creates risks for the country’s energy district. Currently, most of the oil and gas are produced in the frozen landmass of northern Russia, the soil in these areas freezes and thaws as the season changes.
Long winters and short summers were maintaining a solid foundation for the oil and gas industry to flourish, the so-called permafrost. However, with climate change temperatures are rising and the thaw season is prolonging which is destabilizing the foundation on which infrastructure is constructed. The permafrost is undergoing a rapid change which is threatening the structural integrity and functional capacity of infrastructure.