Planting Trees Not the Solution to Climate Change?

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The video “Climate change: the trouble with trees” that The Economist produced explains why planting trees is not the ‘silver bullet’ to combat climate change.

This interesting video discusses why tree planting may not be the ‘panacea’ for climate change, particularly when planting only one tree species.

It says that monoculture tree plantations like conifer pines can do more harm than good. The best way is natural forestation to maximize carbon sequestration, and much more, The Economist (2019) video said.

The motive behind planting thousands upon thousands of these monoculture trees that spread across entire landscapes and mountains is not so green but more on making money, The Economist (2019) added.

However, experts are looking to a future where carbon payments would create financial incentives, ‘if carbon becomes more important as a commodity, then perhaps these natural forests would become more profitable than plantations’, says Simon Lewis, professor of Global Science at UCL and the University of Leeds.

How forests can maximize their carbon sequestration is through natural regeneration and wilding, says Isabella Tree, a UK natural forest advocate, but added that this kind of activity is hard to get funding for because people are driven by targets (The Economist, 2019).

And even if we plant trees on every available land, will it be enough to offset all carbon emissions from fossil fuels?

Watch the video and learn more about how forestation can maximize carbon sequestration and benefit the land and ecosystems.


The Economist. (2019, September 18). Climate change: the trouble with trees. [Video file]. Retrieved from

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