Ireland has announced an impressive initiative: plant 22 million trees each year for the next 20 years for a total of 440 million trees planted. It is a part of the country’s strategy for combatting climate change and reaching a net zero carbon pollution target by the middle of the 21st century.
“The Climate Action Plan puts in place a decarbonisation pathway to 2030 which would be consistent with the adoption of a net zero target in Ireland by 2050,” says a report released by Irish officials.
A key part of the plan seeks to incentivize farmers to designate some of their farm land for tree planting, which presents challenges on several fronts. Some argue that it would be detrimental to Ireland’s farmers to ask them to reforest land that otherwise contributes to their livelihoods and to allow already forested areas to expand and grow naturally.
70% of the trees will be conifers while the remaining 30% will be deciduous, broad-leaf trees.
Other countries are setting tree planting targets and setting tree planting records as well. In July 2019, Ethiopia planted 350 million trees in a single day, setting a new world record. Other countries, like England for example, are falling short of their goals. In England’s case, they are short by approximately 70% of their planting goal.
“Taking decisive action to confront climate disruption will be a major challenge to every dimension of our society, but the benefits are huge – warmer homes, cleaner air, a sustainable use of the world’s scarce resources, more connected communities, authentic values, and quality jobs in enterprises which can compete in a decarbonized world,” the government said while unveiling the plan.
“This is everyone’s journey.”