Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Ireland to Plant 440 Million Trees in 20 Years to Fight Climate Change

Climate
Ireland to Plant 440 Million Trees in 20 Years to Fight Climate Change
Owengarriff River along the Kerry Way, Ireland at Killarney National Park. David Madison / The Image Bank / Getty Images Plus

Ireland will plant 440 million trees by 2040 as part of its efforts to combat the climate crisis, The Irish Times reported Saturday.


The government had already promised to plant more trees as part of a climate action plan released in June, which aims to make Ireland carbon neutral by 2050 by investing in renewable energy, instituting a carbon tax and changing land use, HuffPost explained. But the plan did not specify an exact number of trees to be planted. Now, a Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment spokeswoman has given The Irish Times an exact figure.

"The target for new forestation is approximately 22 million trees per year. Over the next 20 years, the target is to plant 440 million," she said.

The trees will be 70 percent conifers and 30 percent broad-leaf trees.

The announcement comes about two months after a study found that planting more than 500 billion trees was the "most effective" climate change solution available. However, critics of the study warned that reforestation wasn't enough to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gasses, and that it should be one of many strategies employed, HuffPost explained.

Still, other countries have embraced tree-planting initiatives. Ethiopia planted a record 350 million trees in a single day in July. Scotland announced this year that it had surpassed its own tree-planting goals, The Hill reported. It had planted 11,200 hectares (approximately 43 square miles) of trees in 2018, a boost on its 10,000 hectare (approximately 39 square mile) goal. The final tally was more than 22 million trees planted.

However, England was less successful. Its tree-planting efforts fell more than 70 percent short of government targets this year, according to HuffPost.

If Ireland's initiative is to succeed, it will need to persuade farmers to plant more trees on their land, something the government acknowledges is currently not popular, The Irish Times reported. The government plans to convince farmers and to hold community meetings across the country to bolster support for reforestation.

However, Pádraic Fogarty of the Irish Wildlife Trust was skeptical of the government's plan.

"People are not good at planting trees and trees do not like being planted. They prefer to plant themselves," he told The Irish Independent.

Fogarty argued that instead of giving out €94 million ($103 million) in forestry grants every year, it would be better for the government to pay landowners to plant nothing, allowing their land to rewild.

"We have a mental block about letting nature do its thing. We see a space recovered by nature and we think it's scrub and wasteland and want to get it back 'under control' whereas if we just left it alone, the forest would come back all by itself," he said.

The Arctic fox's coat changes from the mixed gold and black of summer to a mostly pure white fur in winter. Dennis Fast / VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

By Jacob Job

Maybe you've seen a video clip of a fluffy white fox moving carefully through a frozen landscape. Suddenly it leaps into the air and dive-bombs straight down into the snow. If so, you've witnessed the unusual hunting skills of an Arctic fox.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Young protesters participate in the Global Strike For Future march to raise climate change awareness in September 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. Thierry Monasse / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

An international survey conducted by the University of Cambridge and YouGov ahead of this November's COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference, and published on Monday, found overwhelming support around the world for governments taking more robust action to protect the environment amid the worsening climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A boy plays basketball in front of an oil well covered with large colorful flowers and located next to Beverly Hills High School. Wells like this have been hidden throughout Los Angeles. Faces of Fracking / Flickr

While the hazards of fracking to human health are well-documented, first-of-its-kind research from Environmental Health News shows the actual levels of biomarkers for fracking chemicals in the bodies of children living near fracking wells far higher than in the general population.

Read More Show Less
The Sierra Nevada mountains are among the ranges most at-risk for early snowpack melt. CampPhoto / Getty Images

As the planet warms, mountain snowpack is increasingly melting. But "global warming isn't affecting everywhere the same," Climate Scientist Amato Evan told the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.

Read More Show Less
With restaurants and supermarkets becoming less viable options during the pandemic, there has been a growth in demand and supply of local food. Baker County Tourism Travel Baker County / Flickr

By Robin Scher

Beyond the questions surrounding the availability, effectiveness and safety of a vaccine, the COVID-19 pandemic has led us to question where our food is coming from and whether we will have enough.

Read More Show Less