Russia’s Largest Gas Field Is Funding the War in Ukraine

This fuel-rich area in Arctic Russia could potentially emit 11.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide throughout its lifetime.

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Last year, The Guardian did a five-month investigation into “carbon bombs,” or fossil fuel projects that would, over the course of their life, emit over one billion tons of carbon. They found that there are 195 planned oil and gas carbon bombs around the world, and if they proceed as planned, these projects alone would blow past internationally agreed upon climate targets. For our eleventh deep dive on carbon bombs, we take a look at the Bovanenkovo Gas Field: a major natural gas formation in Arctic Russia. The Bovanenkovo Gas Field holds 6.05 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, giving it the potential to emit 11.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide. But beyond climate and environmental issues, Bovanenkovo presents another major concern: revenue from that natural gas is funding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Today, we explore how Bovanenkovo gas affects the surrounding community, how it ties into the war in Ukraine, and what needs to happen for Russia, Ukraine, and NATO to achieve a more sustainable and peaceful future. With special guest Dr. Katarzyna Zysk: Professor of International Relations and Contemporary History at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies.

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at

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Writers: Emma Jones, Owen Reith, Velina Georgi, Ethan Brown

Fact Checker: Alia Bonanno

Editor: Megan Antone

Producers: Ethan Brown, Hallie Cordingley, Shannon Damiano, Owen Reith

Ad Voiceover: Maddie Salman

Music: Brett Sawka

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.



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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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