Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

19 Mar 2022

War and sustainability

Posted by Michael Keating

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the biggest blow to sustainability since the term became popular more than 30 years ago. The invasion is not only a humanitarian catastrophe for Ukrainians but it will harm people around the world. The war has already driven the price of oil to sky high levels. That makes it more expensive for everyone who needs fossil fuels for heating, food production, transportation and production of virtually everything we use. For low-income countries this means an increase in the cost of their food and that has long been a trigger for social instability. In addition, Ukraine has been one of the world’s major grain producers and there are questions about how much it can produce this year let alone ship with the Russian navy controlling its Black Sea export routes. Russia is being blacklisted from a wide array of international activities at a time when we need global cooperation on critical issues such as COVID-19 and climate change. We risk slipping back into a Cold War period of isolation at a time when countries need to be pulling together.

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