Buerkle, E.; (2009) Russia's extractive wealth and its environmental institutions: framework for action of environmental actors and the oil and gas industry in Russia. Masters thesis, UCL (University College London).
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Environmental pollution is one of the most endemic problems Russia inherited from the Soviet Union. Enforced industrialisation and abundance of natural resources including oil, gas, water and precious metals established a culture of neglect and carelessness for environmental issues. In an economy which is hugely dependent on extractive industries, high oil prices have only intensified an already predominant attitude of using the nature for the sake of economic growth and personal enrichment. Today, oil and gas account for more than 63 per cent of Russian exports and 49 per cent of the federal budget. Neglect of environmental issues is, however, common not only among businesses and state officials. Compared to west European countries, there have been few acknowledgements of the individual responsibilities every single citizen bears to protect nature in their everyday lives, for instance by saving energy and recycling waste. Excluding international movements such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia, there is currently little nation-wide civic pressure exerted on the authorities to ensure a clean and healthy environment, which is a constitutional right guarantee by the state. Instead, most environmental initiatives take place on local and regional levels. This is even more surprising considering the fact that, to a significant extent, Russia's civil society grew from ecological movements which developed in the late 1980s. Since President Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000, the institutional framework in environment has undergone fundamental changes. The present thesis analyses these changes by scrutinizing the reasons for the still prevalent systemic neglect of environmental issues today. The author argues that these institutional changes have only increased the inefficiency of institutions created to protect the environment. Furthermore, evidence is provided of how the current institutional framework of environment protection has led to a situation where issues of ecological concerns are used as a political tool by the authorities and different interest groups, undermining the whole concept of environment protection and weakening the role civil society can play in mitigating the negative impact of the oil industry on the environment.
|Title:||Russia's extractive wealth and its environmental institutions: framework for action of environmental actors and the oil and gas industry in Russia|
|Additional information:||Authorisation for digitisation not received|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES|
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