Plant a Tree and Help Our Planet

Taking Root is focused on expanding healthy forest in our tri-state region. Other organizations work to advance tree-planting in other urban areas or at national or global levels. One of these is The Nature Conservancy. Its Plant a Billion Trees campaign is a major forest restoration effort with a goal of planting a billion trees across the planet by 2025.

This growing global push for tree-planting is motivated by concern for the impacts of climate change and the urgent need to take action sooner rather than later.  Our region occupies a small piece of the planet, but our local progress in planting and maintaining more trees can contribute to the success of a global climate-control strategy in which every tree counts.

Excerpts from the Nature Conservancy’s rationale for planting trees as a cost-effective strategy for reducing carbon-dioxide levels and the rise of global temperatures are below. You can learn more here

The three main ways to limit the carbon in our atmosphere are by curbing the forces that are emitting too much of it in the first place, being more efficient with what we use, and actively capturing and storing some of what is already out there.

Trees and other plants have perfected this process over hundreds of millions of years of evolution. In fact, we’re unlikely to see a better carbon capture and storage technology than that which nature provides—we just need to actively give it the best chance to do its job.

According to a recent study led by The Nature Conservancy along with 15 other organizations, maximizing nature’s ability to tackle climate change at a cost-effective price could have the same effect as if the world put a complete stop to the annual burning of oil.

If natural climate solutions are mobilized over the next 10 years, they could provide 37 percent of the needed carbon mitigation for global climate targets. But if action is delayed until after 2030, that number drops to 33 percent because the emissions we’re trying to curb would increase and many of these natural areas themselves would degrade and become less effective. If we wait until 2050, the number drops to 22 percent.

In other words, the longer we wait, the less nature can do.

At the global level, the Conservancy is working with policymakers and other partners toward an ultimate goal: To provide countries the incentives and support they need to protect forests and other natural carbon sinks at a scale sufficient to fight climate change.

So, as we continue advances toward a low-carbon economy, we must not lose sight of the solutions that have been under our feet, in the soil and roots, and above our heads, in the forest canopies, this whole time. The fact is, the world won’t be able to meet its climate change goals without them.

Nature can help heal our planet, if we let it.

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