Can Planting a Trillion Trees Stop Climate Change? Scientists Say it’s a Lot More Complicated

Inside Climate News discusses whether planting a trillion trees can stop climate change? Scientists say it’s a lot more complicated. Compared with cutting fossil fuels, tree planting would play only a small role in combating the climate crisis.

It seems simple. Plant enough trees to soak up all the carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels and people can forget about global warming and get on with their lives.

The idea even resonates with President Trump who, in January, said he backs an international “trillion trees” plan “to protect the environment.”

Trump’s endorsement, at the Davos World Economic Forum, grabbed headlines, coming from a president who has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, dismantled environmental regulations aimed at reducing emissions and called climate change a “hoax.” In the same speech, he attacked young climate activists as “prophets of doom.”

Since Davos, the tree planting plan has morphed on Capitol Hill into the so-called Trillion Trees Act, a proposed bill that would set targets for increasing wood growth to capture carbon, part of a growing global focus on nature-based climate solutions to complement greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

Internationally, the WWF, BirdLife International and the Wildlife Conservation Society formed TrillionTrees.org to “protect and restore” forests, while the Davos discussions spurred formation of 1t.org as a global platform to mobilize funds that leans heavily on commercial forest interests. There’s even a tree-based cryptocurrency

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