European wildfire emissions hit highest level since 2007

By Kira Taylor
September 6, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The wildfires that swept across Europe this summer, driven by high temperatures and prolonged dry conditions, have caused the highest CO2 emissions from fires in 15 years, EU satellite data shows. Summer 2022 saw more frequent and more intense wildfires in much of western Europe, with Spain, France and Italy particularly affected. From 1 June through to 31 August, an estimated 6.4 megatonnes of CO2 was emitted in the EU and the UK – the highest level for these months since 2007, according to data from the CAMS Global Fire Assimilation Service. In France alone, 62,000 hectares were destroyed from the start of the year to 3 September, six times the full-year average for 2006-2021, according to European Forest Fire Information System data. “The scale and persistence of the fires in the southwest of Europe leading to the highest emissions for Europe in 15 years was extremely concerning throughout the summer,” said Mark Parrington, senior scientist and wildfire expert at CAMS.

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