Down To Earth recaps the primary environment, health and developmental news from 2022
At the crack of dawn February 24, 2022, Russian troops invaded Ukraine on the express orders of President Vladimir Putin. The ensuing conflict that continues till today has had far-reaching effects on the whole world.
As we enter 2023 and near the first anniversary of the conflict, it shows no sign of abating. Here is a snapshot of the war’s global impact through a selection of Down To Earth’s articles:
Perhaps the biggest impact of the invasion of Ukraine was on agriculture and food security. The war razed the global agriculture system, once sold as a magic formula. This led to the concentration of food production in a few countries, making others net importers, and fuelled a historic price rise in the wake of the war.
Read more: Food for all to free for all: The collateral of Russia vs Ukraine
Ukraine is a breadbasket and several countries worldwide are importers of Ukrainian wheat. They felt the effects of the conflagration north of the Black Sea.
Read more: A year of hunger: How the Russia-Ukraine war is worsening climate-linked food shortages
India too felt the impact. The country imports about 90 per cent of sunflower oil from Russia and Ukraine; but the Russian invasion of Ukraine severely affected imports; besides, Indian cultivation of sunflower has declined by 90 per cent in the last 30 years.
Read more: Why sunflower oil lovers need to worry about Russia-Ukraine war
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting economic fallout also threw four million children into poverty across eastern Europe and Central Asia, according to a United Nations body report.
Read more: Ukraine-Russia war has pushed 4 million children into poverty
The other big impact of the invasion of Ukraine was on energy. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of oil and the second-largest crude oil exporter behind Saudi Arabia. It is also the third-largest exporter of coal. The Russian invasion of Ukraine led to the rapid rise in the prices of coal, oil and gas.
Read more: The rush to use fossil fuels due to the war in Ukraine is “madness”: UN Secretary-General
An of course, there was the impact on emissions. At least 1.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions were released due to the movement of refugees, both within Ukraine and to Europe due to the Russian invasion.
Read more: COP27: Russian invasion of Ukraine released 8 million tonnes carbon till September, says report
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