New Zealand Wants to Plant 1 Billion Trees to Fight Climate Change
New Zealand is getting closer to finalising a plan to plant 1 billion trees, according to Stuff. The government allocated an additional $240 million to the project, bringing its total budget to $485 million over the next three years.
If approved, the program would play a key role in the country’s efforts to mitigate climate change, according to Stuff. New Zealand is considering enacting a zero emissions target by 2050 and planting trees could be incorporated into a cap-and-trade, or emissions trading scheme (ETS), program.
“When the Government is closing down maternity centres like Lumsden’s, cancelling new funding for cochlear implants for children, breaking its promise of universal cheap GP visits and more funding for mental health initiatives because it claims it doesn’t have enough money, the extra $240 million for planting pine trees is extraordinary,” regional economic development spokesman Paul Goldsmith told Stuff.
But the initiative enjoys broad support and the government is considering public-private partnerships that would provide grants to landowners to plant trees on their properties.
This sort of all-hands-on-deck approach to environmental rehabilitation is happening in other parts of the world, too.
These efforts are undoubtedly good for the environment, but they don’t directly tackle climate change, the world’s primary environmental challenge.
To do that, countries have to drastically cut greenhouses emissions. New Zealand currently has a run-of-the-mill emissions reductions target under the Paris climate agreement. The country is trying to lower 2005 emissions levels by 30% in 2030.
The 2050 proposal of getting to net zero emissions is more ambitious and would be a nice complement to a billion new trees.
Originally published on: https://www.globalcitizen.org/