The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - December 22

An Italian wood is leading the country's bid to meet greenhouse-gas reductions set down in the Kyoto Accord. The oaks, ashes, willow and poplars, planted in 1992 and now approaching adulthood, are making a "significant" contribution to greenhouse-gas elimination, said the head of Italy's National Institute of Biometerology, Osvaldo Facini.

The greenhouse-gas eater at Nonantola on the central Italian Apennines near Modena has started clicking into high gear, Facini said. "Since it was planted, this wood has managed to trap around 4,000 tonnes of CO2. "That's the equivalent of the gas generated by 1.6 million litres of petrol. "And it's just starting to get serious. It will really start sucking in CO2 once the trees are fully mature".

The wood, which recently joined the international Fluxnet network of gas-cutting forests, is one of the stars of Italy's greenhouse-gas monitoring and elimination programme CarboItaly. Under the Kyoto Accord, Italy is supposed to cut its greenhouse gases by 6.5% compared to 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of plucky woods like the one at Nonantola, emissions rose by 12.2% in 2004.