The island nation simply isn’t lush enough to offset its own carbon emissions, so government officials have announced a plan to grow 440 million trees to change that…
Planting more than 440 million trees is an ambitious goal, but the Irish government and its citizens believe they can get the job done within the next 20 years. According to this Irish Times report, Ireland’s officials have announced plans to begin planting upwards of 22 million trees in the nation’s rolling countryside each year in order to effectively offset all of its carbon emissions. The nation also plans to introduce a land-use tax, a carbon tax, and other monetary penalties to ensure all Irish manufacturers and businesses are in line with their goal to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
Leo Varadkar, a government official often referred to as the Irish “prime minister,” shared on Twitter that the Irish government is counting on everyday farmers to help in the new endeavor. “We want many more trees in Ireland, as part of our plan on climate action. 440 million is a huge number but it’s achievable if all landowners plant just some of their land,” he tweeted.
According to the Times, the tree seedlings to be planted in Ireland will be around 70 percent conifers and 30 percent broad-leaf trees, depending on the land in question. Overall, officials hope to create nearly 20,000 acres of new forestry across the nation annually. Ireland isn’t the only nation to rely on trees to supercharge ecological efforts; nearly 350 million trees were recently planted in Ethiopia in just a single day, according to CNN, and nearby Scotland also has planted more than 22 million trees in its soil in 2018, per the Independent.
Recent research has shown that planting trees, as simple as it may seem, could be the “most effective” solution to the increasing effects of climate change across the globe. Published in the journal Science in July, researchers found that planting more than 500 billion trees across the globe could offset much of the carbon in our atmosphere. It’s just one aspect of a multi-pronged approach that many scientists and environmentalists alike believe could address global warming and growing air pollution across the globe.