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Forests grow stronger and therefore block more carbon. By planting more trees, we can get rid of more and thus reduce the carbon in the atmosphere.
The world’s forests are taking up increasingly more carbon, partially offsetting the carbon being released by the burning of fossil fuels and by deforestation in the tropics, according to a new synthesis of model simulations.
When it comes to fighting global warming, trees have emerged as one of the most popular weapons. With nations making little progress controlling their carbon emissions, many governments and advocates have advanced plans to plant vast numbers of trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in an attempt to slow climate change. But emerging research suggests that trees might not always help as much as some hope.
A Global Initiative to Grow, Restore and Conserve One Trillion Trees
The World Economic Forum has launched a global initiative to grow, restore and conserve one trillion trees around the world – in a bid to restore biodiversity and help fight climate change. The one trillion trees project is called “1t.org”. The aims for the 1t.org is to unite governments, non-governmental organisations, businesses and individuals in a “mass-scale nature restoration”.
Many scientists applaud the push for expanding forests, but some urge caution. They argue that forests have many more-complex and uncertain climate impacts than policymakers, environmentalists and even some scientists acknowledge. Although trees cool the globe by taking up carbon through photosynthesis, they also emit a complex potpourri of chemicals, some of which warm the planet. The dark leaves of trees can also raise temperatures by absorbing sunlight. Several analyses in the past few years suggest that these warming effects from forests could partially or fully offset their cooling ability.
The 1t.org project mission:
- To serve and empower the reforestation community.
- To unlock the conditions needed to re-green our planet.
- To break down the barriers preventing conservation and restoration at scale.
- To connect the people that want to help with the people that can help them.
- To play our part in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and assist others in doing the same.
- To understand that time is not on our side and if we want to heal the planet, we must make every day count.
The 1t.org Project
A day ahead of the official launch of the 1t.org, the initiative received the support of US President Donald Trump. While a sceptic on climate change, Trump said he wanted to show “strong leadership in restoring, growing and better managing our trees and our forests”.
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said: “The next decade must see unprecedented levels of collaboration if we are to meet global climate, biodiversity and Sustainable Development Goals. 1t.org presents an important example of how stakeholders from all walks of life and all ages can work together to achieve a single, globally significant goal.”
The World Economic Forum acknowledged the work of existing reforestation schemes such as American Forests and the Trillion Trees Initiative and said 1t.org was “an opportunity to help join-up these initiatives in a unifying platform» and help mobilize funds and political support.”Nature-based solutions – locking-up carbon in the world’s forests, grasslands and wetlands – can provide up to one-third of the emissions reductions required by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement targets,” the Forum said. The rest of the emissions reductions would have to come from the energy, heavy industry and finance sectors.
- Benjamin Gaubert, Britton B. Stephens, Sourish Basu, Frédéric Chevallier, Feng Deng, Eric A. Kort, Prabir K. Patra, Wouter Peters, Christian Rödenbeck, Tazu Saeki, David Schimel, Ingrid Van der Laan-Luijkx, Steven Wofsy, and Yi Yin; Global atmospheric CO2 inverse models converging on neutral tropical land exchange, but disagreeing on fossil fuel and atmospheric growth rate, Biogeosciences, 16, 117–134, 2019
- Gabriel Popkin; How much can forests fight climate change? Nature 15.1.2019
- World Economic Forum, One trillion trees – World Economic Forum launches plan to help nature and the climate, 22.1.2020
Lucubrate Magazine February 2020
The picture on the top of the article: Smileus (Adobe Stock)