2nd Feb 2023

Europe warned of more forest fires in future

  • Droughts and heatwaves caused extensive forest fires in Europe this summer (Photo: European Commission)

Europe could see even more damaging forest fires in the future, the EU's agriculture and environment ministers were warned over the weekend.

The warning came after a summer where Spain and Portugal were both ravaged by devastating fires, causing huge damage to thousands of hectares of land.

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Climate change and land abandonment were named as the key reasons for the worrying trends.

The EU environment agency presented its recent report to the ministers, stating that the union's existing policies alone will not be enough to save Europe's environment from extensive environmental change in the long term.

The report also suggests the EU is set to miss targets related to greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and the use of alternative sources of energy.

The negative effect these tendencies could have on weather in Europe may even be strengthened due to poor management of land, as vast areas are tending towards abandonment by rural populations.

In some countries, over 20 per cent of people from the countryside have moved to cities since the 1970s, according to the report.

This trend has also been boosted due to the pending demographic crisis in Europe, as old people tend to find it easier to live close to cities in order to get better access to health services, writes the Financial Times.

Climate change and sustainable development are Britain's key topics as it chairs the EU presidency until the end of the year.

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