Trees suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. They are the most effective means we have of reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. But again and again, tree planting projects have created problems for local communities.
On 6 July 2019, Patrick Pouyanné, the CEO of French oil and gas company Total, announced that his company would invest US$100 million per year in forest protection. Total’s announcement comes shortly after similar announcements by Shell and Eni to offset some of their emissions with forest conservation projects.
In July 2019, Science magazine published a paper titled, “The global tree restoration potential”. The paper was written predominantly by scientists from the Crowther Lab at ETH–Zürich, and from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. The paper resulted in a very large amount of media coverage, and some criticism from climate scientists.
The NGO Plant for the Planet aims to “fight the climate crisis by planting trees around the world”. In March 2018, Plant for the Planet launched a Trillion Tree Campaign, together with Prince Albert II of Monaco, WWF, WCS, and Birdlife International, among others.