In 2022, Portugal ranked second in Europe most affected by forest fires, with 153 fires burning an area of 949 square kilometres, according to a report published by the European Environment Agency on Wednesday (June 14).
The first country is Spain, with a burned area of 2,754 square kilometers and 208 forest fires, while France comes in third with 74 forest fires that destroyed an area of 465 square kilometres.
The study also estimates that the Iberian Peninsula will see A ” A significant increase “ Number of days with higher fire risk due to climate change and carbon dioxide emissions.
In Portugal and Spain, the number of people living near forests and at risk of fire at least ten days a year would increase by 15 million (24%) if global temperature increased by 3°C by the end of the century.
The agency also noted that the 2022 wildfire season was the second worst since 2000, with more than 5,000 square kilometers — twice the size of Luxembourg — burned between June, July and August, and a record amount of Natura2000 nature conservation sites affected.
Losses from fires reached at least 2 billion euros in Europe last year, and carbon dioxide emissions in the European Union and the United Kingdom between 1 June and 31 August 2022 are estimated at 6.4 megatons – the highest figure since 2007.
Extreme weather events and climate-related disasters caused an estimated €560 billion in economic losses in the European Union between 1980 and 2021. During the same period, floods, storms, heat waves, cold weather, forest fires and landslides killed nearly 195,000 people.