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Will planting trees be enough to solve climate change?

July 23, 2020

Planting trees won’t be enough to solve climate change by itself, but it is a practical step that can have huge benefits.

Planting trees doesn’t require scientists to come up with technological solutions to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. It is available now, it is the cheapest one possible and every one of us can get involved.

Planting billions of trees across the world is one of the biggest and cheapest ways of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere to tackle the climate crisis.

As consumers, there will be hard lifestyle choices that we need to start taking now – we should all be using less, traveling less, and carefully considering any activity that is going to increase our personal carbon footprint.

We suggest you read Tree planting ‘has mind-blowing potential’ to tackle climate crisis

 

How many trees do we need to plant each year?

Worldwide, we have a net loss of about 10 billion trees a year (reference https://www.crowtherlab.com/), and many of these were mature trees that captured CO2 (which saplings will take years to do).  We need to plant not only to replace these trees, but to also increase the net number of trees if we want to reduce CO2 levels.  This means each person on the planet needs to plant at least several trees per year.

It is estimated that nearly 1 billion hectares of marginal land worldwide, not including cropland, deserts and urban regions, is potentially available for forest restoration.  That would support over 3 trillion trees!

More than 50% of the tree restoration potential is found in six countries (Russia, United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and China) – read more here