The climate scientists are finally persuaded that Southwick Country Park’s solution to global warming is the right way to go. They should have asked us sooner.
Scientists have worked out that planting a trillion trees will be by far the cheapest and simplest way to tackle climate change. Without counting land used for crops, or urban areas, they have estimated that across the world there is more than 1.5 billion hectares of treeless land that would be suitable for planting saplings of native species.
Trees take carbon dioxide from the air and sequester it as complex carbohydrates in wood and leaves. Given fifty to a hundred years to mature, a trillion trees will remove 200 billion tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. That would represent two-thirds of all the emissions that human activity has put into into the atmosphere.
Professor Tom Crowther at the Swiss university ETH Zürich, who led the research, called it:
“. . .a climate change solution that doesn’t require President Trump to immediately start believing in climate change, or scientists to come up with technological solutions to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. It is available now, it is the cheapest solution possible and every one of us can get involved.”
Christiana Figueres, former climate chief of the United Nations, said:
“Finally we have an authoritative assessment of how much land we can and should cover with trees without impinging on food production or living areas. This is a hugely important blueprint for governments and the private sector.”
It is a solution we can all contribute to. We can plant trees; we can persuade parish, town, and county councils to plants trees; we can contribute to forest restoration proposals like the 50 million trees that are to be planted in northern England by 2032.
It is a solution within our reach. We don’t have to wait on new and difficult technologies to be invented; we can begin to control climate change by just putting back the forests we have cut down.
All the picture are by DKG