Le Figaro: will we save the planet from global warming by planting trees?

Le Figaro: Спасем ли мы планету от глобального потепления, сажая деревья?

“Companies, managers and candidates in the municipal elections: they all want to plant trees to reduce your carbon footprint. A commendable approach… but not necessarily effective”, – writes the journalist of Le Figaro, Anne-Laure Fremont.

“Last month, even US President Donald trump, a little-known its commitment to the environment, has promised to join the initiative “a trillion trees” put forward by the organizers of the world economic forum in Davos,” – said in the article.

“The goal is laudable: to absorb the maximum amount of carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the main greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Forest really are a carbon sink, because during their growth, trees capture CO2. In his report, in 2018, the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) also mentioned “set of solutions” aimed at limiting global warming to + 1.5 C in 2100, including a very significant increase in forest area by 2050″, – notes the edition.

“According to Stephen Haller, President-founder Reforest’Action (a French company, which carries out projects on reforestation), enthusiasm for this type of program really began after in Paris in 2015, a conference was organised COP21. “We see a real acceleration after last year: now we receive daily from 30 to 40 calls from individuals or companies that want to plant trees or restore forests.” According to him, climate marches 2019 awakened a similar spirit, not to mention the fires that have devastated the Amazon, and then Australia…”And there was a scientific study which probably was the starting point for the launch of the initiative in Davos”. In particular, we are talking about a study published last year in the journal Science, which outlined the results of the group of researchers from the ETH (Federal Polytechnic school of Zurich) who dare to make a bold calculation: the planting of trees on such a large area as the United States, can afford to absorb “205 billion tons of carbon, accounting for about two thirds of the 300 billion that was released to the atmosphere due to human activities since the industrial revolution”.

“These figures were very quickly challenged by other scientists, as recalled by the national research center (CNRS), explaining that planting a trillion trees, as discussed in this study will lead to the destruction of most ecosystems and represent a threat to global food security, since a very large part of the land currently used for agriculture shall be transformed into forest,” writes Le Figaro.

“Whether it’s a sincere approach or the communications arm (or both), “each tree is useful,” says Stefan Haller. As for the race for the title of the person who planted the most trees at the end of the next municipal election (the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has proposed to plant in the capital, 170 thousand trees), that “all agree that the return of natural vegetation in the city is good,” points out cécile Loeb, the activist of the forest Fund Greenpeace. Trees absorb CO2, and retain a cool island in urban areas, which is very useful during times of extreme summer heat,” – says the publication.

“We need to remind one thing: the main problem is the emission of greenhouse gases. We will not solve all problems Wasaga forests, especially where such national projects are presented as a replacement,” says Henry Weisman, senior researcher of the climate program, IDDRI (Institute for sustainable development and international relations). And those who says a lot about the programs on reforestation are often precisely those sectors that are responsible for the largest emissions. “The use of offset your carbon emissions for the sake of distraction and without any further effort useless,” sharply says Cecile Loeb. That is, such projects are reforestation are not a bad idea, if they do not become “right to pollute”, the article reads.

“Another risk to put anything anywhere. Necessary to search for suitable land, proper wood, not competing with agricultural land… the Selection and support of projects sometimes are a problem, especially when they are run in foreign lands, for example, in developing countries”, – the author says Satya.

“Some ill-prepared projects turn into a fiasco: November 11, 2019 President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared the day “national reforestation” in Turkey. Across the country, were planted 11 million trees. Less than three months, according to the Union agriculture and forestry, almost 90% of these trees have already died, victims of water shortage. Sukru durmush, Union President, explained the opposition daily newspaper Cumhuriyet that scientists still warned the government that the conditions for reforestation inept that the trees were not planted properly… but all were in vain. The aim was to break the record,” writes Le Figaro.