Saturday, 25 January 2020

30 Million Waving Trees

During the election several of the parties decided to proclaim their intention to plant millions of trees a year to mitigate our green house gas emissions. I thought I would do some back of the virtual envelope calculations to see what difference this would make.

As a country we voted in a Conservative government with a manifesto commitment to plant 30 million trees a year to help reach net zero emissions by 2050[1]. Based on this and a simple model for capture of carbon by growing trees I got the following results:


  • Planting 30 million new trees a year, every year until 2050 will achieve about 9% of the reductions we would require to reach net zero emissions.
  • That would be 930 million new trees.
  • The same 30 million new trees a year, every year until 2030 would achieve about 1% of the reductions to reach net zero by 2030[2]

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14cNqpivhaOF4csI3AXJS-reQNfXUOuM_5CBc6sV-viM/edit?usp=sharing



[1] Net zero by 2050 is a time frame that has a low probability of keeping warming  below a relatively safe 1.5C
[2] Net zero by 2030 a time frame that has a high probability of keeping warming  below a relatively safe 1.5C

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