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New Study: Trees Won’t Work – Unrealistic Climate Promises

The study, the Land Gap Report, is based on an international collaboration led by researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

They reviewed all the pledges countries made in the 2016 Paris Agreement. The review shows that many countries will rely heavily on farms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Trees and other plants constantly capture and store large amounts of carbon dioxide. It is estimated that Earth’s forests remove a third of global carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere each year, thus having a vital cooling effect on the climate.

In other words Important to protect the existing forests on the planet. But planting new trees to remove more carbon dioxide can be a huge problem, according to the researchers.

According to the Paris Agreement, a total of 11,840,000 square kilometers of land is required if we are to keep promises. Among them, 5,510,000 square kilometers can be said to be based on sustainable calculations. This primarily includes the restoration of natural forests that have been deforested.

But 6,630,000 hectares will be a monoculture of conifers and eucalyptus that will be grown in biomes for large numbers of wild animals and plants – for example, savannas in the tropics. Some areas are also important for agriculture.

This huge deck Roughly the size of all of Australia or the continental United States, and larger than all of Europe outside of Russia, or 15 times larger than all of Sweden.

– Countries’ climate promises appear to be based on a dangerous myth in unsustainable measures, says Kate Dooley, the study’s lead.

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Some countries, such as China, have planted huge amounts of trees over large areas. Since 1999, 300,000 square kilometers have been reforested with the planting of single exotic trees. A 2018 study found the implants to be largely useless for wild birds and insects. They are even less poor species than ordinary farmland.

In the new study, it was indicated that other countries, such as Australia and India, are planning to establish bioenergy farms that are likely comparable to biological deserts.

Scientists say the plans should be scrapped, or rather redirected. The most important thing is to protect the remaining natural forests.