Azara Blog: The UK will allegedly plant a lot more trees

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Date published: 2009/11/25

The BBC says:

Millions of trees should be planted to cover an extra 4% of the UK in woodland in order to tackle climate change, the Forestry Commission has recommended.

It said planting 23,000 hectares a year would make a "significant" contribution to meeting lower emissions targets.

Trees suck carbon dioxide from the air and store it in wood, cutting the level of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
The recommended planting - equivalent to 30,000 football pitches a year - would bring the UK's total woodland cover to 16%.

Professor Sir David Read, chairman of a panel of scientists who carried out the research, said: "By increasing our tree cover we can lock up carbon directly.

"By using more wood for fuel and construction materials we can make savings by using less gas, oil and coal, and by substituting sustainably produced timber for less climate-friendly materials."
It is hoped the latest plan would absorb 10% of the UK's target of slashing its emissions of greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050.

The UK should definitely be planting more trees, but planting trees in the UK does a lot less for the world than planting them (or not cutting them down) in the Amazon. And there is also the question of what the trees will displace in terms of land usage, and even the question of how that will impact other possible uses of the same land. All in all, the calculation of alleged carbon emission savings is not as obvious as the proponents might like to claim.

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