Ireland Pledges to Plant Half a Billion Trees Over the Next 20 Years

September 18, 2019 at 4:22 am

Ireland joins the race to reforest the planet to fight climate change

The Irish government has promised to plant 440 million trees by 2040, The Irish Times reports.

The announcement comes on the heels of  a study that found that planting 500 billion trees globally was the “most effective” solution to climate change available.

For such a small country, Ireland is definitely doing its part.

Scotland is also making great strides, planting 22 million last year.

Ethiopia beat the world record this past summer, planting 350 million in one day, and India set the world record two years before that with 66 million in a day.

While the tree planting trend is definitely a well-intentioned cause, one expert says simply letting land rewild itself may be a more effective, less expensive solution.

“People are not good at planting trees and trees do not like being planted. They prefer to plant themselves,” Pádraic Fogarty of the Irish Wildlife Trust told The Irish Independent.

Fogarty argued that instead of giving out $100 million in forestry grants every year, it would be better for the government to pay landowners to plant nothing and allow their land to grow wild.

“We have a mental block about letting nature do its thing. We see a space recovered by nature and we think it’s scrub and wasteland and want to get it back ‘under control’ whereas if we just left it alone, the forest would come back all by itself,” he said.