Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Canada’s wildfires have spewed more CO2 than Mexico did in a year

Canada’s wildfires have spewed more CO2 than Mexico did in a year
(Photo: Unsplash / Issy Bailey)

Fires burning across most Canadian provinces and territories since May have released 410 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, roughly the equivalent of Mexico’s emissions in 2021. 

Canada’s wildfires have contributed 27% of the total wildfire carbon emissions for 2023, according to observation agency Copernicus. By comparison, Canada’s emissions from human activities in 2022 was slightly above 546 metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to data from the Global Carbon Project. 

“As temperatures keep increasing and dry conditions become more long-term, the chances of experiencing devastating wildfires like those in Canada are increasing,” said Mark Parrington, senior scientist at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. Wildfire emissions are tracked from space using satellites and have become a way to measure the fires’ impact on the warming of the planet. 

Extremely high temperatures, stoked by climate change, are worsening drought across the planet and fueling fires that can reach unprecedented scale. Canada experienced its worst wildfire season on record this summer and that, along with drought in many parts of the country, have led to economic losses in agriculture, accommodation, food services, mining and quarrying. The area burnt as of 1 September 1 was larger than Bangladesh, with some fires still active. 

Other significant wildfire episodes over the past few months took place in central and far eastern Russian districts, in northern and central Greece and on the island of Maui in Hawaii. 


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Download the Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox.

+ Your election day questions answered
+ What's different this election
+ Test yourself! Take the quiz