Immense climate benefits from tree planting: study

A global effort to restore forests by planting about 500 billion trees could both remove carbon from the atmosphere and mitigate climate change, according to a new study.

The study modelled mass planting on land that was not already used for farming, forests or urban areas and found it could increase earth’s forested area by 25 percent and store about 205 gigatonnes of carbon when the trees reach maturity.

“This highlights global tree restoration as our most effective climate change solution to date,” the abstract by the study’s eight authors said in Science.

“However, climate change will alter this potential tree coverage. We estimate that if we cannot deviate from the current trajectory, the global potential canopy cover may shrink by ~223 million hectares by 2050, with the vast majority of losses occurring in the tropics.

“Our results highlight the opportunity of climate change mitigation through global tree restoration but also the urgent need for action.”

Last month Resilient Melbourne and the Nature Conservancy released the Living Melbourne: our metropolitan urban forest report in to manage a projected population of 8 million and threats from climate change such as heatwaves.

It outlined what steps 32 metropolitan councils in Melbourne, state agencies and non-governmental organisations need to take to ensure the city’s future liveability by protecting, expanding and connecting its urban forests.

These include preparing new guidelines and regulations to support greener subdivisions as well as increasing the amount of green roofs and green walls on private buildings.