- Launched 2019
- Collection finished
I demand that all schoolchildren plant trees every Friday.
Planting billions of trees is by far the biggest and cheapest way to tackle the climate crisis, according to scientists, who have made the first calculation of how many more trees could be planted without encroaching on crop land or urban areas. New research estimates that a worldwide planting programme could remove two-thirds of all emissions from human activities. There are 1.7bn hectares of treeless land on which 1.2tn native tree saplings would naturally grow. Excluding fields used to grow crops and urban areas, including grazing land.
Restoration is overwhelmingly the best solution for climate change and Governments must now factor tree restoration into their national strategies.
Prof Tom Crowther at the Swiss university ETH Zürich, emphasised that it remains vital to reverse the current trends of rising greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and forest destruction, and bring them down to zero. He said this is needed to stop the climate crisis becoming even worse and because the forest restoration envisaged would take 50-100 years to have its full effect of removing 200bn tonnes of carbon.
The research is based on the measurement of the tree cover by hundreds of people in 80,000 high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth. Artificial intelligence computing then combined this data with 10 key soil, topography and climate factors to create a global map of where trees could grow. This showed that about two-thirds of all land – 8.7bn ha – could support forest, and that 5.5bn ha already has trees. Of the 3.2bn ha of treeless land, 1.5bn ha is used for growing food, leaving 1.7bn of potential forest land in areas that were previously degraded or sparsely vegetated.
The potential for EU wide community based programs for school kids across EU to fulfill part of the planting requirements would be an exercise in environmental education that extends into areas such as agriculture, community and climate justice.
on 05 Jul 2021
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