The COVID-19 pandemic was a test, while climate change could be a final exam for mankind

The Russian Academy of Sciences and the All-Russian Society for the Protection of Nature (VOOP) signed a cooperation agreement on the margins of SPIEF-2022. The document was signed by Alexander Sergeev, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Vyacheslav Fetisov, Chairman of the VOOP.

The parties agreed to ‘contribute to solving socially significant tasks in terms of support and promotion of domestic science, environmental protection, environmental safety, raising environmental consciousness of the population and especially, young people, the promotion of respect for nature and environmental activities,’ as stated in the document.

It is planned to cooperate in the preparation of proposals related to scientific aspects of the Earth climate problems, global environmental problems, problems of desertification and conservation of biological diversity, problems of the World Ocean, the Arctic and Antarctica. The most important task of joint work will be the preparation of proposals on priority areas of research, scientific, technical and innovative activities, the introduction of the best available technologies and achievements in the field of environmental protection and related spheres of knowledge.

The parties will organize joint events to popularize science, attract young people to scientific and environmental activities, to prepare and celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic was a test, and climate change could be a final exam for mankind’, said Vyacheslav Fetisov. In his opinion, climate change is an ever-increasing process with increasingly complex and long-term consequences, and there is no vaccine to stop it.

‘Climate change creates significant risks for all sectors of the economy, for the whole world, there are no exceptions. To solve this problem, the state, private businesses, investors, scientific community, civil society and each of us separately need to work together as a team’, emphasized Vyacheslav Fetisov.

The VOOP Chairman reminded that the President of the Russian Federation set a goal for Russia to become a carbon-free country by 2060, which implies detailed roadmaps for the next 5, 10, 20 and 30 years.

‘It is important to understand that achieving carbon neutrality does not mean that businesses will stop producing CO2 and polluting the atmosphere. It means that businesses will learn to solve problems related to emissions, and the total amount of pollutants emitted into the atmosphere will be equal to the total absorption capacity of our natural ecosystems (forests, swamps, oceans, etc.), and new innovative technologies will be developed by mankind to prevent climate change’, said Vyacheslav Fetisov.

RAS President Alexander Sergeev defined the problem of decarbonization from a different angle: ‘We are now asking ourselves whether the problem of decarbonization is as important as it seemed a year ago? And there are a lot of scientific problems in this connection. The issue of water-surface deposition is on the rise. Why are we concerned with soil when the Sea of Okhotsk is twice the size of all our arable land? Why are we looking for how much carbon remains from planting, if we should concentrate on the sea? We should have a model, a so-called digital carbon twin, with which we would ‘cover’ our entire country. We would prove to our foreign scientific colleagues that this model works’.

Alexander Sergeev believes that it is necessary to start with the creation of a digital twin of one region, and then this experience can be replicated throughout the country.

More information is available at the following link.