Trees Are Not Enough to Save the Climate | Net Zero

About This Source - Bloomberg QuickTake: Now

Bloomberg L.P. is a privately held financial, software, data, and media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

It was founded by Michael Bloomberg in 1981, with the help of Thomas Secunda, Duncan MacMillan, Charles Zegar, and a 12% ownership investment by Merrill Lynch.

Recent from Bloomberg QuickTake: Now:

  • Volunteers Deliver Emergency Supplies to China’s Flood-hit Xinxiang
  • Captors Free 28 Kidnapped Children in Nigeria
  • Monsoon Flooding Kills over 100 in Western India
  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Trees Are Not Enough to Save the Climate | Net Zero” – below is their description.

    “I haven’t met any anti-tree people yet,” said Marc Benioff, chief executive of Salesforce. He could, however, meet some tree realists.

    Benioff spoke at an event announcing the World Economic Forum’s big climate initiative to plant a trillion trees by 2030. The goal is to sequester enough carbon to slow down and perhaps reverse climate change. It’s a reaction to the WEF’s conclusion that the top five long-term risks to the planet are all tied to the inexorable rise of greenhouse gases. Even US President Donald Trump, who has remained opposed to most climate policies, jumped on WEF’s tree wagon.

    Beware magical solutions. As with anything we learned in high school, the true story is more complex. Planting trees at the scale many are planning to do is a challenge and could cause unintended consequences, warns Nathalie Seddon, professor of biodiversity at the University of Oxford and director of Nature-based Solutions Initiative.

    First, most tree-planting programs pick only one or two species to plant. These monoculture forests might be good at locking up carbon quickly, but less diverse tree systems attract less diverse sets of animals and thus become less resilient to the coming changes. In a warming world, where the number of extreme weather events become more frequent, the forests risk destruction because of droughts, floods, fires or pestilence. That would, of course, release the sequestered carbon.

    Second, where the trees are planted matters. The trillion-tree plan is likely to need a billion hectares of land—about the same size as China, the world’s third-largest country by area. But even if we find that much land, there are other problems.

    A 2007 study found that deforestation in the North American boreal regions can actually cool the planet: Dark forests trap more of the sun’s heat than lighter, open land, which reflects rather than absorbs. Or, vice versa, sometimes planting trees in the wrong place can have a warming effect on the planet. The science of the so-called “albedo effect” and forests in high northern latitudes is far from certain.

    Third, there is a risk of “green colonialism.” People derive value from their ecosystems. Without the buy-in of local people, many tree planting programs fail. In Bangladesh, Seddon says, a reforested mangrove plantation was turned back to a shrimp farm within years, because local people weren’t engaged.

    Trees for the Future, a charity founded 30 years ago, found that fewer 5% of the trees it planted survived to maturity without local supervision. In recent years, instead of focusing on tree-planting, it focuses on an approach that makes local farmers richer through planting trees. The result is the creation of “forest gardens” that quadruple the farmers’ income, improve the family’s nutritional diets, and lower the cost of planting to as little as $0.10 per tree.

    Seddon has worked in nature conservation for more than 30 years, and she welcomes the huge interest in planting. Her biggest worry is that tree planting is being used for greenwashing. Under the Bonn Challenge, many countries, companies and organizations signed up to restoring 350 million hectares of forests. Dig deeper and it becomes clear that 66% of that is for monoculture forests or agroforestry rather than actual restoration.

    Tree-planting programs might be used as a “get-out-of-jail card” by the fossil fuel industry, governments, or even individuals. “We have to keep fossil fuels in the ground and we need to look after nature,” Seddon said. “One is not an alternative for the other.”

    More: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-31/planting-trees-isn-t-a-simple-climate-change-solution-it-seems?sref=Ycj954CZ

    Bloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel

    Got a comment? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, below. Please note comments are moderated before publication.

    In This Story: Bangladesh

    Bangladesh, officially the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 162 million people.

    Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

    Dhaka, the capital and largest city, is the nation’s economic, political, and cultural hub. Chittagong, the largest seaport, is the second-largest city.

    2 Recent Items: Bangladesh

  • How Now, Tiny Cow? Bangladesh Bovine Hopes To Break Size Record
  • At least 12 dead after minivan carrying migrants crashes in Turkey
  • In This Story: Climate Change

    Climate Change is the name commonly given to the notion that the Earth is undergoing a changing climate as a result of human activity, including notable leaders, scientists and naturalists including Sir David Attenborough.

    Climate change includes both the global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases, and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns.

    2 Recent Items: Climate Change

  • Flooding and landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains kill at least 159 in India
  • In French Polynesia, Macron tackles nuclear test legacy, China dominance • FRANCE 24 English
  • In This Story: Donald Trump

    Donald John Trump was the 45th President of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality. Trump was born and raised in Queens, a borough of New York City, and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School.

    5 Recent Items: Donald Trump

  • Carl Bernstein: Donald Trump is our own American war criminal
  • Lara Trump calls this Biden move a ‘total joke’
  • Paul Robeson: The singer who fought for justice and paid with his life | Planet America
  • See Don Lemon’s reaction when ex-Trump doctor gets upset with reporters
  • WaPo: This is what Trump’s PAC is spending its money on
  • In This Story: Salesforce

    Salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM) is an American cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It provides customer relationship management service and also sells a complementary suite of enterprise applications focused on customer service, marketing automation, analytics, and application development.

    5 Recent Items: Salesforce

  • Salesforce CEO says Biden is saying ‘a lot of really smart things’ about tech
  • The New HQ Is in the Cloud: Salesforce President
  • Final Trades: Salesforce, XPO Logistics, Citigroup
  • Final Trades: Qualcomm, Salesforce.com, CoreSite Realty & more
  • How Slack Is Preparing for the Future of Work
  • Leave a Comment