Australia Bushfires emitted 50% of annual CO2 emissions: Report

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 13, 2019, 06.32 PM(IST)

File Photo: Smoke of fire rise next to firefighting vehicles as bushfires burn in Newnes Plateau, New South Walles, Australia. Photograph:( Reuters )

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In 2018, Australia's entire greenhouse gas footprint was 532m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The bushfires in Australia emitted a massive pulse of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere since August which is equivalent to almost half of the country's annual greenhouse gam emissions, media reports said on Friday.

The bushfire emitted about 195m tonnes of CO2 since 1 August, with Queensland’s fires adding a further 55m tonnes over the same period, a UK daily reported citing NASA analysis.

The report also said, in 2018, Australia's entire greenhouse gas footprint was 532m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

A series of enormous bushfires are raging across east Australia, with a total perimeter longer than the distance from London to Singapore.

The bushfires have claimed the lives of four people since November. Additionally, the fires have burnt about 2.5 million acres of farmland and bush. More than 400 homes were destroyed in the mega-fire.

While police are investigating what triggered some fires, firefighters and scientists have said the bulk of the blazes have been caused by soaring temperatures and three years of drought that left bushland tinder-box dry. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said his government is committed to fighting climate change, insisting that Australia will meet a pledge to cut emissions from 26% to 28% by 2030, versus 2005 levels. But critics accuse the government of merely paying lip service to climate concerns.

(With inputs from agencies)