In an interview with Jannike Kihlberg for Dagens Nyheter, Henrik Carlsen and Björn-Ola Linnér explain how climate change may give a strategical advantage to Russia in terms of food production.
Russia has large areas of forest as well as land that can’t be cultivated because it is frozen most of the year. However, higher temperatures can result in larger cultivation areas and an increase in profits from harvests in parts of Russia.
”In 2021, Russia drew up a strategic climate plan in which they emphasised that it was important to also identify the benefits that climate change can bring”, said Henrik Carlsen, Co-Director of Mistra Geopolitics
Both researchers agree that there are potential benefits for Russia if global warming stays around 1.5 degrees, such as opening shorter transport routes previously covered by ice and increasing the cultivated land area:
”Climate change can have positive effects on certain crops, especially winter wheat can be a winner. Large parts of Russia where winter wheat can increase are close to Ukraine”, said Björn-Ola Linnér, Programme Director of Mistra Geopolitics
In contrast, the UN’s climate panel IPCC warns that climate change could lead to smaller harvests on a global scale.
Henrik Carlsen is a Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Programme Director of Mistra Geopolitics. Currently Dr. Henrik Carlsen is leading the Mistra Geopolitics research theme Foresight Capabilities and Emerging Technologies. He is an expert on decision making under uncertainty, with an emphasis on climate change adaptation. His research interests are based on the intersection between science and policy on long-term challenges to society.
Professor Björn-Ola Linnér
Björn-Ola Linnér is the Deputy Programme Director of Mistra Geopolitics and Professor at the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research at Linköping University. He analyses how the political processes and actors affect conditions for social changes towards sustainable development in different parts of the world. He has a long experience in research dialogues with various societal actors, such as the climate convention’s secretariat, governments, businesses and environmental organizations.
Dagens Nyheter article written by Jannike Kihlberg. Text translated and edited for Mistra Geopolitics by Ana Calvo, Communications Assistant at SEI.
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Ana Calvo works at SEI as a Communications Assistant. She assists colleagues in creating and editing communication content for both research projects’ websites and social media channels.
Maria Cole is a Senior Communications and Impact Officer at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in Stockholm. Maria is the Communications Lead for Mistra Geopolitics and leads the work package on Communications and Stakeholder engagement.
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