As Russia continues to cut off Europe from its natural gas, it has left behind a surplus. While a variety of solutions are available for this, Russia has perhaps opted for the worst choice when it comes to excess natural gas – they are burning it.
And it’s no small amount, as each day they are burning over 10 million dollars worth of fuel.
While the goal is most likely to send a message to their European neighbors, the actual impact is on the environment. According to estimations, as all of this data comes via satellite imagery, that’s roughly 9,000 tons of carbon dioxide entering our atmosphere every day.
For comparison, the same amount of emissions would come from about 1,100 homes in the United States over the course of a year. Of course, it’s not just emissions being released. Other chemicals that could impact human health are also being discharged.
However, without an official statement, the exact reason this is happening is speculation.
Why Would Russia Burn Natural Gas?
So, it might sound really odd to hear that Russia is burning its number one export on such a grand scale. But there are some plausible reasons behind doing so.
For starters, the most obvious reason is they could be trying to send a message. The natural gas they are burning was intended for Europe, but those are being cut as Russia is responding to Europe’s incoming bans next year due to the war in Ukraine.
This could simply be a leveraged move to try and make Europe reconsider its stance.
There is also the possibility that because a new plant is opening, the flaring process is necessary for safety testing. However, most experts agree this isn’t the case. At no point in the entire history of the industry has this kind of burning ever been present.
Of course, there could also be a major problem at the facility, which could explain the burning. After all, storing the oil or shipping it elsewhere would make far more sense than just burning it, which of course, just makes this more of a political message than anything else.
And just as a reminder, there is no official statement from Russia at the time of this post. Thus, we can only speculate at this time.
It’s A Disaster for the Environment
While we may not know exactly why this is happening, we do know one thing, it’s an environmental disaster.
At a time when the world needs to be curbing emissions, Russia is blatantly disregarding what the rest of the world is trying to achieve. Not to mention polluting their own countries’ air, which harms the health of every individual who resides there.
Of course, this may come as little surprise as Russia has done little to reduce emissions. Its utter disregard for the environment is on record and the list is long.
It’s also worth pointing out that since this is natural gas, we are not just dealing with carbon. Instead, it is also releasing methane, which is 80 times more potent than carbon in regards to warming the planet.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.