Posted: 27.04.2023 12:53:00

Security of the environment and life

Climate change, pollution of natural resources and scarcity of various forms have become part of the national security agenda in  countries around the world

Reduction of the ozone layer, global warming, atmospheric pollution, greenhouse effect, reduction in the diversity of biological species living on Earth. All these and other problems can affect our country in one way or another. To prevent this, Belarus, in co-operation with other countries, is taking measures aimed at reducing the human impact on nature. The quality of our life directly depends on the state of ecology. After all, air, water, soil and its other integral components are the basis of human existence. Therefore, it is not surprising that environmental security, according to the updated National Security Concept, is defined as one of the aspects that is subject to protection. In the document, this term refers to the state of protection of the environment, life and health of citizens from threats arising from anthropogenic impacts, as well as factors, processes and phenomena of a natural and man-made nature. 

The President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko,
“Respect for the environment should become a way of thinking and a norm of life for each of us, a priority direction of state policy for powers and unions.”
During greeting to the participants and guests of the 15th Republican Environmental Forum on June 7th, 2019

This is how the environmental agenda becomes a pretext for trade wars

The increased attention of the world community to the problems of climate change is used as a pretext to limit the access of Belarusian products to international markets, to curb the development of Belarusian industry. This is stated in the new concept. What mechanisms are used for this purpose?
Today, the trend for environmental labelling is increasingly developing in the world. Such certification provides advantages for manufacturers, but it can also be a barrier for developing countries, since the introduction of certification involves additional costs for companies, qualified personnel, proper technical support and an audit system are required to ensure operation. Environmental friendliness or non-ecological friendliness of manufactured products becomes a marker for entering a particular market. At the same time, there are still no unified global standards in this matter.  

NATO takes on the climate?

Speaking at the NATO Public Forum last year, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that climate change is multiplying crises and that this is an issue of great importance to the alliance. Stressing that ‘NATO is determined to set the gold standard on addressing the security implications of climate change’. According to him, climate change is the defining challenge of the times for NATO. 

Not for populism, but for the good

The ecological development of Belarus is proceeding logically and consistently. Unlike, say, the European Union, where a few years ago the climate agenda was artificially updated, and loud statements were made about the rejection of carbon raw materials, but now its extraction and burning of coal are increasing to the maximum. 
Belarus consistently, comprehensively and systematically implements environmental policy. However, it gives its results. Thus, the volume of emissions of pollutants into the atmospheric air and wastewater per unit of GDP production has been reduced by 2.5 times over the past 20 years. The energy intensity of GDP has been halved.  
Measures to ensure environmental safety and a favourable quality of the environment are provided for by the programme of socio-economic development of the Republic of Belarus for 2021-2025 and other state programmes, such as ‘Environmental Protection and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources’, ‘Belarusian Forest’, ‘Energy Saving’, ‘Comfortable Housing and Favourable Environment’.
In addition, the national action plan for the development of the green economy for 2021-2025 is also important — this is a comprehensive document that is being implemented in 12 areas with the participation of 48 involved government agencies and organisations.

How can we continue to protect the environment?

The development of a strategy for the development of a circular economy in the Republic of Belarus until 2035 is nearing completion. In addition, Belarus is developing a strategy for the long-term development of a country with a low level of greenhouse gases until 2050, developing green financing mechanisms and other equally important areas: the development of electric transport, green building, eco-tourism and organic products.

By Svetlana Isaenok