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Spatial-economic-ecological model for the assessment of sustainability policies of Russia

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A sustainability model for Russia

New impact assessment tools to evaluate policy options can help the Russian Federation adopt more sustainable practices within its borders and upgrade the standard of living for its citizens.

Climate Change and Environment
Industrial Technologies
Society

Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one eighth of Earth’s inhabited land area and representing a rich ecosystem of fauna and flora. Yet, the country’s economic growth and strong industry often conflict with its drive for sustainability and for maintaining nature’s balance. The EU-funded SUST-RUS (Spatial-economic-ecological model for the assessment of sustainability policies of Russia) project supported Russian policymakers in developing better policies on sustainability. The project team outlined a new impact assessment modelling approach to build an effective spatial, economic and ecological model for Russia. It developed sustainability indicators to assess the social, economic and environmental effects of sustainability policies and to evaluate sustainability policy measures. This required the compilation and validation of a comprehensive database that contains social, economic and environmental data to power the model. Environmental aspects of the database included the country’s energy use in physical and monetary values, as well as data on greenhouse and non-greenhouse gas emissions. Social aspects featured data on income groups and labour market dynamics, including unemployment, taxation and health issues. Through these initiatives, the project supported Russian policymakers and researchers in balancing social, economic and environmental policy objectives and furthering sustainable development across this formidable nation. It went far beyond current policy assessment models available for Russia, enabling relevant authorities to manage a number of pivotal issues related to sustainability. Key topics included use of natural and land resources, economic development in rural regions, environmental impacts of transportation, poverty, production vs. consumption, international trade and energy use. Project results have been unveiled through different conferences and online initiatives, exposing researchers and stakeholders to powerful new tools for the assessment of sustainability and for policymaking. By being able to clearly compare different policy options and select the most ideal ones, concerned stakeholders can play an important role in upgrading overall sustainability across the Russian Federation. Once this new modelling system is fully exploited, there will be a broad range of benefits for the country as a whole.

Keywords

Sustainability, impact assessment, SUST-RUS, emissions, trade, energy use

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