Ireland Intends To Plant 440 Million Trees By 2040

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With destruction sweeping through the Amazon Rainforest, it seems like now would be the right time to get a bit of good news.

Ireland Intends To Plant 440 Million Trees By 2040

With destruction sweeping through the Amazon Rainforest, it seems like now would be the right time to get a bit of good news.


Enter stage left, 5,000 miles away: the Republic of Ireland is stepping up with a brand new climate action plan — proposing to plant 22 million trees each year until 2040.


Ireland plans to plant a total of 440 million trees over two decades to scale up its fight the climate crisis, according to the Irish Times. This is over 60,000 a day.



Ireland first announced this climate plan in June 2019, pledging to create 19,768 acres of new forestry land a year. However, it did not initially clarify how many trees would be planted across that space, putting forward fresh figures.


Carbon abatement refers to processes which take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. A report published in June 2019 found that planting trees, especially in areas where forests have been previously destroyed, is one among the best ways to do that — and beat back climate change.


The government has revealed that 70 percent of these trees will be conifers, while the remaining 30% will be broadleaf — that have flat, light leaves, like beech, oak, or sycamore trees.


For every 100 acres, 2,500 conifers or 3,300 broadleaf trees will be planted, mainly across existing farmland. However, this presents a challenge, as it means farmers must be willing to put up their own land to plant them.



The government is, therefore, launching town-hall-style events around the country in an attempt to encourage communities to get on board, saying in July 2019 that fighting the climate crisis was “everyone’s journey.”


Trees suck up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Therefore, planting more of them is widely seen as an excellent way to reverse the damaging effects of ever-increasing greenhouse gases building up in the atmosphere and warming the planet.


Nevertheless, environmental group Extinction Rebellion said that the tree planting initiative “is no substitute for the diversity and resilience of rewilding” — which means returning large swathes of the United Kingdom to its natural environment, protecting bogs and marshes.


It follows the success of Scotland that announced in June 2019 that it had hit its tree-planting target for the first-ever time — with 22 million trees planted in 2018, that cover 11,200 hectares of countryside.


Recently, Scotland has planted more trees than anywhere else in the United Kingdom — but Ireland hopes to go bigger and bolder.


England, though, fell 71% short of its official target in 2018.


Ireland does have competition, though. On July 29, 2019, Ethiopia reportedly planted 353 million trees in only 24 hours. Even though apparently not submitted as a Guinness World Record, the number is far higher than the current record of fifty million trees planted on a single day by India in 2016.


It was part of a £1.1 billion project which the government hopes will result in 4.7 billion trees planted by October 2019.


Only under a quarter of Ethiopia’s population of 105 million people was said to have volunteered on the day. Nevertheless, there’s some doubt within the country if the initiative was as successful as reported.


Ireland wants to hit net-zero emissions by 2050, which means it won’t emit any more greenhouse gases than it’ll remove from the atmosphere. The United Kingdom made a legally-binding commitment in June 2019 to also hit the net-zero target by 2050, while Scotland aims to hit net-zero by 2045.


According to Global Citizen, Ireland also explores ideas like a carbon tax and adding an extra million electric cars by 2030 to get to net-zero.

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Thinking Humanity: Ireland Intends To Plant 440 Million Trees By 2040
Ireland Intends To Plant 440 Million Trees By 2040
With destruction sweeping through the Amazon Rainforest, it seems like now would be the right time to get a bit of good news.
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