Carbon Offset Tree Planting is a carbon capture and storage solution, and a useful tool in the move towards becoming carbon neutral. It is by no means a silver bullet. However, their biological makeup provides a positive option for progression.
How Do Trees Carbon Offset Greenhouse Gases?
Carbon Offset Tree Planting is the method of planting trees to allow them to absorb emissions emitted through the burning of fossil fuels. These include emissions such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and ammonia. The trees then store the emissions, removing them from the atmosphere and reducing their impact on global warming.
Trees are a natural carbon capture and storage solution alongside other climate mitigation solutions. Their ability to absorb and store these greenhouse gases is referred to as Sequestration. Ultimately, trees photosynthesise these gases into oxygen, which makes them a key player in the carbon cycle.
Scientific Opinion on Carbon Offset Tree Planting
Scientific research estimates that a global tree planting programme could remove two-thirds of all the emissions from human activities that remain in the atmosphere today. The signing of the Paris Climate Accord recognised all countries’ tree planting schemes as mitigation efforts. Tree planting remains a favourable method in reducing countries’ carbon footprints. In other words, their importance is clear and has been for a number of years.
Carbon Brief’s analysis of an IPCC report from 2018 outlines the scientific take on carbon offsetting schemes. It states, “It is likely that negative emission technologies will be required to offset emissions from sectors that cannot easily reduce their emissions to zero.”
In the near future, further discussions about carbon offsetting will take place at summit meetings such as the COP26. This will give further indication about how it will be used to move towards being a carbon neutral society.
Benefits of Tree Planting
Further than the ability to absorb greenhouse gases, tree planting is helping engage business, employees and investors with sustainable practices.
For example, Italy’s ENI has set an objective of zero net emissions via its forestry investments.
Panama also has an innovative Reforestation visa, which allows foreign investors to invest in government certified reforestation projects for a relatively small investment (much smaller than it’s usual requirements) in exchange for a residency visa.
Other carbon capture technologies are still in their early stages and are far from being ready to scale up globally. Some research already shows renewable power is already economical with forecasts for further price drops and huge growth. As a result, the argument is that there is no need for carbon capture.
Yet, planting trees is a relatively cheap and simple solution for the here and now as we look to become carbon neutral.
Understanding is important too. Individuals often offset their carbon emissions after seeing how much their lifestyle contributes global warming. Calculating your carbon footprint using a carbon calculator will give you an indiction of how much greenhouse gas you emit. It is a estimated insight into how your lifestyle choices contribute to climate change.
You can also take a look at our downloads page for tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint and much more.
We would encourage all readers to take the test to see just how much your lifestyle affects the climate and how you can change your habits for the better.