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Offsetting Trump: tree-planting campaign

  • Written by  Lauren James
  • Published in Forests
Trump Forest’s founders want to see ten billion new trees planted worldwide Trump Forest’s founders want to see ten billion new trees planted worldwide Tracey Jones Photography
11 Oct
A global, citizen-led carbon sequestration scheme is aiming to combat damaging US climate policies

A global campaign to plant ten billion trees has been launched in an attempt to compensate for President Donald Trump’s position on climate change. Citizens around the world are being encouraged to join forces in planting trees or to donate money to international tree-planting organisations. The founders of the scheme suggest that if ten billion trees are planted, the ‘Trump Forest’ will cover an area the size of Kentucky (37,000m2) and will have the ability to offset the additional carbon that will be added to the atmosphere if the Clean Power Plan is removed by the US administration.

The Trump Forest has taken off worldwide – with 678,958 trees being planted. The Eden Reforestation Project alone has contributed to the planting of 402,774 trees as far afield as Madagascar, Haiti, Ethiopia and Nepal.

Questions may be raised over the feasibility of the campaign, but it has growing support. One tree has the ability to offset one tonne of carbon by the time it is 40 years of age. ‘Any initiative that raises awareness of trees’ importance is fantastic,’ says Tony Hothersall, director of Manchester-based City Of Trees. Hothersall has started a linked tree planting operation in the UK.

The global campaign was founded in March 2017 by US climate scientist Dr Dan Price, and colleagues Jeff Willis and Adrian Taylor. ‘The world’s most powerful man is ignoring science,’ says Price. ‘His decisions come at a time when the world was finally starting to make some headway toward acting on this problem and it is vitally important to reach out to those that don’t understand the threat of climate change.’

Price admits that the Trump Forest has a long way to go, but he remains confident. ‘We’re out of time on climate change, we’re decades behind where we should be and we only have a few years to start accelerating our efforts before we lose our chance to keep this under control,’ he says. ‘With Trump Forest we can! With an army of trees we can take a symbolic stand against this disastrous climate ignorance, while also making a physical contribution by offsetting it with the best known carbon scrubbers – trees. People need to stand up together and fight climate ignorance.’

This was published in the October 2017 edition of Geographical magazine.

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