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Impact of forest fires

In a document entitled “Findings and implications from a coarse-scale global assessment of recent selected mega-fires” produced under the aegis of the UN’s FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) and published in May 2011, it is reported that the catastrophic fires which razed the State of Victoria, in Australia, over 14 days in 2009 (the 2009 Black  Saturday Fires), destroyed 430,000 hectares of vegetation and led to the deaths of 173 people, also caused the release into the atmosphere of 8.5 million tonnes of CO2.

This corresponds to 1/24th of the total annual emission of greenhouse gases by plastics in the EU of 27+2 (“the impact of plastics on life cycle energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in Europe” - Denkstatt study, February 2011).

This also corresponds to the annual carbon footprint of a city of 518,000 inhabitants (on the basis of 16.4 tonnes of CO2 per household per year).


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