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Australia To Plant 1 Billion Trees in Bid to Combat Climate Change

Source: Pixabay/Eiston

Australia has set an ambitious target to plant 1 billion trees by 2050 in an effort to fight climate change, enhance natural landscapes, and boost the nation’s economic prosperity.

“Australia’s forest industries are part of the solution to climate change,” — says PM

Australia has announced an ambitious target to plant 1 billion trees by 2050 in an effort to fight climate change, enhance natural landscapes, and boost the nation’s overall economic prosperity. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the scheme, part of a new National Forest Industries Plan, will remove 18 million tons of greenhouse gases from the environment each year between now and 2030 and, in turn, allow Australia to meet its Paris climate agreement targets. “Australia’s forest industries are part of the solution to climate change,” Morrison announced in a statement. “I’m interested in growing more trees and growing more jobs — it’s as simple as that.”

Australia wants to plant 1 billion trees by 2050 The AU$12.5 million tree planting initiative will work to support tens of thousands of jobs. Around 52,000 Australians are directly employed in growing and processing forest products. Tens of thousands of additional jobs are indirectly supported by a sector that contributes more than AU$23 billion to the national economy. Planting a billion trees will also contribute to the removal of 18 million tonnes of greenhouse gas from the atmosphere per year by 2030. Source: Facebook/WorldEconomicForum

Tree-planting initiative will help move Australia closer to the Paris climate agreement targets

Four preliminary tree planting hubs will be set up in New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia, and along the South Australia and Victoria border. An additional five hubs will be developed in 2020.

The new measures follow a recent report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which revealed Australia needed to sharply cut carbon emissions in order to honor its promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% by 2030. Australia currently generates over 500 million tons of CO2-equivalent each year.

"Australia’s emissions are projected to increase by 2030,” the OECD report stated. “Australia needs to develop a long-term strategy that integrates energy and climate policies. The country will fall short of its climate targets without a major effort to move to a low-carbon model.”

Establishing an additional billion new plantation trees is an investment in growing new jobs across Australia. If the plantation estate expands by a billion trees, industry has projected that 18,000 jobs would be created over the next 10 years in the forest industries.
New jobs and new growth Establishing an additional billion new plantation trees is an investment in growing new jobs across Australia. If the plantation estate expands by a billion trees, industry has projected that 18,000 jobs would be created over the next 10 years in the forest industries. Source: agriculture.gov.au

The Australian Government is committed to growing the forest industries

The Australian Government, in the 2018 Budget, announced funding of $20 million between 2018–19 and 2021–22, to underpin growth in Australia’s renewable timber and wood-fibre industry.

This funding will support Australia’s forestry sector in growing associated industries and in making an even greater contribution to Australian jobs and the broader economy.

It will be focused on regional forestry hubs where there is the potential to create regional jobs and support regional communities while adding value to the wood and fibre industries.

This plan includes funding to:

  • transform farm forestry as a commercial enterprise supplying timber to Australia’s forestry sector
  • enable the identification, improvement and use of existing forest resources on Indigenous owned and managed land, and privately owned land
  • drive further innovation, research and development of new products and value-adding in forest industries
  • determine opportunities and gaps in key Regional Forestry Hubs.

The National Farmers Federation’s support for the inclusion of farm forestry tree plantings as a supplement to primary agricultural purposes confirms that farmers are poised to support a bigger part of tree growing in the Australian landscape.

Source: agriculture.gov.au

“Timber is the building material of the 21st century and the Morrison Government is beginning the process of creating the initial Regional Forestry Hubs to meet future demand for forest products,”
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Richard Colbeck— “Timber is the building material of the 21st century and the Morrison Government is beginning the process of creating the initial Regional Forestry Hubs to meet future demand for forest products,” Source: Pixabay/pattyjansen
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Why Global Citizens Should Care

Trees combat climate change by drawing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. They also purify soil and water and help to protect the environment from flooding and storms. Global Citizen campaigns on the Sustainable Development Goals, which include proactive climate action. You can take action here with GlobalCitizen.org