What happened to all the tree-planting plans?

In January, the World Economic Forum, backed by US president Donald Trump, announced the One Trillion  Trees to plant or protect a trillion trees by 2030, bolstering the estimated 3 trillion that already exist. The scheme joins existing reforestation efforts such as the “Trillion Trees” project launched by conservation groups in 2017.

“One Trillion Trees” (sic) didn’t respond to requests for comment on progress, but a US version of its website says that 855 million trees have been pledged by US-based authorities and other bodies. It is unclear how many of those have been planted.

Separately, the National Forest Foundation, a US non-profit organisation, said it had planted 5 million of 7.8 million seedlings it hoped to put in the ground this year, hampered slightly by the pandemic.

In the UK, Guy Shrubsole at Friends of the Earth says there has been little sign that mass tree-planting pledged during the 2019 general election campaign has turned into action. Figures show that between March 2019 and March 2020, 134.6 square kilometres of new woodland were planted, down 1 per cent on the previous year. Most was in Scotland, with only 23.3 sq km in England, implying a government target for England of 300 sq km by 2025 will be missed without a major ramp-up.

(Adam Vaughan, New Scientist    Dec 18, 2020)

My comment:  You cannot expect a conservative government to prioritise something like tree-planting.  Many right-wing politicians don’t even believe in global climate change and think it a scam.  More immediately, they are used to thinking it terms of profits and return on capital.  What financial benefit has tree planting wealth when it will take a generation before the trees are big enough to cut down and  sell?

Am I being unfair?  Well……yes…………to some enlightened and thoughtful people.

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