Tree planting counteracts global warming, creates habitats and biodiversity

One million trees planted 

In the Botanical Gardens of Gothenburg, during The Perfect World Foundation’s climate conference in 2018, Sir David Attenborough planted the symbolic first tree of the organization’s tree planting initiative ‘The Attenborough Forest’. The project aims to plant one million trees to reduce the pressure global warming puts on our planet.

Planting trees is one of the most effective way to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming. One of the ways the gas is released into the atmosphere is through burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas. Fossil fuels are formed from the remains of dead plants that once absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere. New ways of absorbing CO2 are being researched constantly, but planting trees and biomass are still the most effective and natural way to absorb the gas to date.

The Perfect World Foundation's tree planting initiative ‘The Attenborough Forest’ is a global project focusing on planting trees to reduce atmospheric CO2. But trees don’t just absorb CO2, they also bind soil, thereby reducing desertification and the risk of the soil eroding and being discharged into oceans via rivers and streams. Another positive effect of planting trees is that they create better conditions for biodiversity to flourish and provide habitats.

The Perfect World planting trees in Zimbabwe

    Trees and CO2 reduction

    Tree planting is almost a whole science in itself, as there are about 30,000 different species of trees that all have different properties and varying abilities to absorb CO2. As we all know, trees grow in various places on earth with different climates and growth conditions. Because of this it is not possible to state exactly how much CO2 a tree absorbs, but it is possible to produce an approximate answer. 

    To calculate the cost of reducing atmospheric CO2 through tree planting we use different parameters regarding how much CO2 one tree absorbs and for how long a tree lives. A tree can live for a shorter period of time up to many hundreds of years –  and there is also some wastage in the planting process. One tree costs between 0.50–6.00 US dollars to plant, depending on tree species and location – we count it as 2.15 US dollars but the figure is continually being revised. Calculating with our current assumptions, offset is approximately 70 kilos (154 lbs) of CO2 per US dollar.

    What you can do

    The average carbon footprint per capita in the world is approx. 5,000 kilos (11,000 lbs) of CO2 per year, but varies depending on where you live. Since most of our supporters live in the west, we estimate 10 US dollars per month to compensate for your carbon footprint – equivalent to 120 US dollars and approx. 5,000 kilos (11,000 lbs) of CO2 per year. You can Plant Trees through our tree planting projects to compensate for your carbon footprint monthly, or for a whole year at a time.

    By using The Perfect World’s Emission Calculator you can accurately calculate the carbon footprint of your flights… but don’t forget, Business Class costs twice as much as you take up twice the space – the calculator will help you get it right.

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