2.01 - Why should we plant trees?
In 2019, a scientific report by the Crowther Lab concluded that planting trees is possibly the cheapest and most effective way to fight Climate Change. Beyond that, trees have incredible benefits for both our environment and its inhabitants.
To fight Climate Change we have 2 types of solutions, we can either reduce greenhouse gas emissions or we can capture CO2 already released into the atmosphere. For many years the focus has been, rightly so, on lowering emissions. Today the scientific consensus is that this is unfortunately not enough. That’s why carbon capture (and in particular reforestation) is part of the solutions considered essential by the COP21 Paris agreement to keep global temperature rise below 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels.
Trees absorb CO2, store the C (Carbon) and eject O2 (Oxygen). Other carbon capture solutions are being developed but reforestation is by far the most efficient and affordable solution, probably more than 100 times cheaper than the next best solution.
Another extraordinary difference is the quantity of other amazing benefits of planting trees. Trees serve as habitats to millions of species, bring revenue to local populations, help us get food, fodder and medicine, clean our air from toxins, purify our rivers and water resources and much more. Plus, they are Natural.
But today we are losing trees every year due to deforestation. Because of this, approximately 17% of Climate Change is caused by our loss of trees, an impact on global greenhouse gas emissions greater than the entire transport sector. We cannot pretend to fight Climate Change without solving Deforestation.
Therefore planting trees is essential for our planet. Not as an aim in itself but simply because trees address some of the most threatening issues our generation is facing: Pollution, Species Extinction, Climate Change, Desertification, Deforestation, Floods, Poverty, Malnutrition and even Deadly Viruses. For many of these problems, planting trees is a critical part of the solution.