Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused $32B in climate damages

By Chelsea Harvey | 06/13/2024 06:28 AM EDT

A new report estimates the first two years of the conflict have produced 175 million tons of carbon dioxide.

A fire rages behind an Ukrainian serviceman in Kyiv, Ukraine.

A fire rages behind an Ukrainian serviceman in Kyiv, Ukraine, following a March 3, 2022, artillery attack by Russia. Efrem Lukatsky/AP

In November 2022, the United Nations resolved that Russia should pay reparations for the losses, damages and injuries caused by its invasion of Ukraine. Now, some scientists say those payments should include compensation for climate damage, too.

The first two years of the war have produced at least 175 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new report by the Initiative on GHG Accounting of War, a network of scientists investigating the climate impacts of Russia’s war.

That’s the equivalent of about $32 billion in damages, they say.


Their calculation uses a figure known as the social cost of carbon, a metric designed to estimate the economic costs of greenhouse gas emissions. A recent study put that cost at around $185 per ton of CO2, which is the figure the new report used. That’s less than the Biden administration’s own estimate, which prices the social cost of carbon at $190 per ton.