On May 29, 2020 a fuel tank collapsed near city of Norilsk in Arctic Russia, liking 20,000 toons of diesel in the nearby waters. The leaked oil drifted 12km from the accident site, turning the Ambarnaya river crimson red. Environmentalist and scientists advert that the spill could soon reach Arctic Ocean .
The plant that collapsed is owned by a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, which is the world's leading nickel and palladium producer  . The spill has contaminated a 350 sq km area, and the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, declared a state of emergency .
Environmental group Greenpeace said the accident was the largest ever in the Arctic region, and likened it to the Exxon Valdez spill off Alaska in 1989 . The company stated that the spill is likely a combination of both climate change and infrastructure-related factors .
Yet Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund, have stated that the company is emphasising the role of global climate change to avoid sanctions for its ageing infrastructure and potential negligence of the spill .
Russia will either have to keep decreasing oil production to prevent infrastructure from collapsing like this or build a lot more infrastructure to spread the infrastructure weight. Because most of Russia’s oil network was built on permafrost— permanently frozen ground. Permafrost has been melting rapidly in the past decade and can lead to a total collapse of Russia’s oil network .
In vulnerable ecosystems such as the Arctic, extractive industries can be particularly devastating. According to Greenpeace companies involved in the extractive industries cannot be trusted to behave responsibly. To protect the Arctic and the climate, the Russian government needs to reconsider the economic model of the country based on fossil fuels and environmental abuse, and put in place a green recovery package based on climate-friendly solutions . (See less)