Save the planet - plant a trillion trees!

environment, climate, forests, In the news

According to a recent study planting more trees could save the planet.

The study "Global restoration opportunities in tropical rainforest landscapes", published in "Science" [1] last week, highlights the potential for a mass global reforestation project to help offset carbon emissions and lessen the effects of climate change.

The study looks at the benefits of forests on the planet and human life (biodiversity, mitigating climate change, adaptation to climate change, and water security) and how the reforestation and conservation of native forests and eco-systems is vital to our planetary existence as we know it today.

The article is timely given the record breaking heat wave Europe has experienced this summer[2] which, along with more severe winters are set to be the norm globally every year due to climate change.

With over 50% of the planets rainforests depleted it's no coincidence that we're seeing more extreme weather patterns each year.

There's no denying the earth is getting warmer and it's only going to get hotter as carbon emissions continue to soar and our only means of stablising earth's climate being decimated at the rate of an estimated area the size of a football pitch every second[3].

In the face of an uncertain future the study offers hope in the form of a plan to restore the worlds rainforests and plant 1 trillion trees. However it's not as simple as merely 'replanting trees'. The study goes on to explain how restoring native and natural forest with their vastly complex eco-systems is the way to go and that we need to do it now to have a shot at this succeeding. On top of that we need to address the issue of carbon emissions by reducing our fossil fuel usage to the point ot cutting it out enirely.

Planting 1 trillion trees looks like the reprieve humanity desperately needs. It buys us precious time to transition to a zero-carbon economy where emissions fall drastically and fossil fuel usage is consigned to the history books. The alternative - where humanity is consigned to history - is something we all must strive to avoid. The question is: can we rally in time to make it happen?


  1. Global restoration opportunities in tropical rainforest landscapes https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6448/76 ↩︎

  2. Heat waves bring record-breaking temperatures on a geological scale, Tech Crunch, July 2019 https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/05/heat-waves-bring-record-breaking-temperatures-on-a-geological-scale/ ↩︎

  3. Global Forest Watch report cited in Guardian "One football pitch of forest lost every second in 2017, data reveals" June 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2018/jun/27/one-football-pitch-of-forest-lost-every-second-in-2017-data-reveals ↩︎