From Cosmos (26/10/23)…
Sinking Australia with billions and trillions of trees
Projects across Australia and across the globe are hanging their climate change credentials on planting trees – thousands of trees, millions of trees, and in some cases, trillions of trees.
But is it enough to put the brakes on climate change?
Carbon Positive Australia raises money to plant native trees and vegetation on degraded land across Australia. It is one of the many charities and organisations that have mushroomed in the past decade offering ways to take climate action.
It says safeguarding and restoring the landscape through tree planting “could reduce over 50 gigatonnes (50,000,000,000 tonnes) of carbon emissions that would otherwise enter the atmosphere”.
“Maintaining our Australian landscapes through the planting of native trees can, and does, make a difference in reducing climate change,” the charity says.
Forests are what is known as a “carbon sink”. The trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis as they grow.
But the amount trees can absorb is finite, and they release carbon dioxide as they decay or, as has been the case more and more often in Australia recently, burn.
Tree planting and revegetation has become a major focus of carbon sequestration, both through carbon credit schemes and charities.
In 2014, the Australian Government launched the 20 Million Trees Program, with the aim of planting 20 million trees by 2020 to meet the objectives of environmental conservation, community engagement and carbon reduction. The program resulted in the planting of more than 29.5 million trees and 4.06 million understorey plants in 235 projects.