Is Planting Trees the Answer to Climate Change?


Major political parties have announced that they will plant trees to tackle climate change. The Conservative Party has said they’ll plant 30 million trees a year, whilst the Liberal Democrats have said they’ll plant 60 million.

We are asking in this digital event - Is planting trees the answer to climate change?

In debating these issues with a panel of experts you can decide whether these pledges stand up to scrutiny.

Is planting trees the best thing for our ecology? Are there better ways to capture carbon naturally without the active planting of trees? Is the answer simply to make more space for nature and trees will plant themselves?

It is easy to see trees as a visual fix to tackling climate change but it shouldn’t distract from our need to decarbonise our economy.

We will look to address the key question - could planting this many trees achieve carbon neutrality?

We have under ten years to more than halve carbon emissions. Who we decide to back now will be in power for the next five. These political parties need to provide real solutions.

See the webinar here

To continue the discussion ahead of the event please ‘reply’ to this topic - ask questions, share information, give your thoughts.

Our Panelists

James%20small James Lloyd - Director @ Nature4Climate

James works on international campaigns around nature-based solutions for some of the planets biggest challenges. Having spent a decade working in and around the UK Parliament advising Political Parties and a number of large NGOs, he has joined as Director of Nature4Climate, an international multi-sectoral strategic communications and advocacy platform.

Nature4Climate (N4C) promotes natural climate solutions, which are capable of being one-third of the solution to climate change by 2030. N4C targets and networks international leaders from governments, business and civil society to build ambition and accelerate delivery of a ‘regenerative’ economy. Over the next decade have the potential of meeting the triple challenge ending biodiversity decline slowing dangerous climate change and delivering the wider SDGs through putting nature at the heart of decision making.

Belinda Belinda Gordon - Strategic Director @ Green Alliance

Belinda is responsible for developing and executing Green Alliance’s strategy and overseeing Greener UK and its influence on the Brexit process. Prior to joining Green Alliance, Belinda worked as head of government and rural affairs at the Campaign to Protect Rural England for two and a half years. Before that, she worked in the Science Policy Centre of The Royal Society and at Defra, where she focused on issues ranging from waste to noise and agriculture. She started her career at Shell before joining the Countryside Agency. She has a degree in geography from Cambridge University and an MSc in environmental management from Birkbeck College.

Matthew Matthew Owen - Director @ Cool Earth

Cool Earth is a charity that works with local people to halt deforestation and climate change. The organisation, founded by Matthew over ten years ago, is now working across thirteen partnerships in six countries to protect some of the worlds most at-risk rainforest.

Cool Earth creates partnerships with local people to gain a deeper understanding of the complex threats facing the forest. By providing initial funds to support communities, Cool Earth helps their partners to generate enough income to support themselves whilst reducing pressures on the forest.

With a First Class Degree in Geography from the University of Oxford, Matthew went on to head up research at Fleming Investments, HSBC and Morgan Stanley before starting Cool Earth is 2007. Matthew continues to be the driving force behind the mission, vision and values of Cool Earth.

Really interesting report from Friends of the Earth crunching the number here:

Green Alliance published this report on reducing the climate impact on land use (largely focused on the UK) which models the afforestation needed, amongst other things, to reach net zero land-use by 2040 (the NFU target).


Relevant video ahead of the event.

Not entirely, but it’s part of the answer. They have to be the right trees in the right place though. Plus we need to look after our soils, oceans etc.

If the Scots are so keen on Climate Change, why do they want to launch a rocket on peat bog? Why is all the money for voluntary sector where they control who gets the money and who doesn’t? Not only not understand sustainable tourism and climate change, but business either. There is an investigation going on at Planting trees is part of the answer… we will be planting trees in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, on 15th February. 2020.

Here is the podcast of the event for those who missed it:

Here is the video of the event: