Wildfires around the world are increasing in frequency and intensity every year. In the Brazilian Amazon alone, forest fires this year have been the highest level they've been in 12 years.
Recent estimates show that carbon emissions from wildfires in the European Union and UK this summer were the highest since 2007. Climate change and wildfires mutually reinforce each other, and if current trends continue, there will be devastating long-term consequences.
A greater number of more intense fires will release millions of extra tonnes of carbon, decimate biodiversity, destroy vital ecosystems, impact economies and people, threaten property and livelihoods, and cause severe long-term health problems for millions around the world. To have any chance of restricting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C in line with the Paris Agreement, more needs to be done to cut carbon emissions from forest fires, by governments, businesses, communities and individuals alike.
The 2022 UN climate change conference, COP27, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, is an important opportunity to raise awareness about this issue and accelerate action on fires prevention.
WWF is partnering up with award-winning agency, NOMINT, on a new short film about wildfires and climate change, to be released at COP27. The film is the second in our series of films to rally awareness and action around major climate-related issues – the first film, "We Can’t Negotiate the Melting Point of Ice," was released at COP26 and recently won the prestigious Cannes Lions Award.
This event will serve as the launchpad for the film, followed by a panel discussion. Speakers will focus on lessons learnt from policy interventions and civil society efforts on the ground to address the root causes of wildfires, and what is needed from policymakers to ensure that the issue of fires is incorporated into climate action plans, including proper emissions accounting.
The event will be held in the WWF Pavilion in the Blue Zone at COP27, and will also be livestreamed on our YouTube channel.