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Mass Reforestation May Be Needed to Limit Global Temperature Rises


Shell’s boss, Ben van Beurden said that a huge tree-planting project the size of the Amazon rainforest would be necessary to meet the global warming target of 1.5C. He argues that more renewable energy alone would not be enough.

Ben van Beurden told an oil and gas industry audience in London:

You can get to 1.5C, but not by just by pulling the same levers a little bit harder, because they are being pulled roughly as fast and as hard as we are currently imagining. What we think can be done is massive reforestation. Think of another Brazil in terms of rainforest: you can get to 1.5C.

“It’s not what some people sometimes think: we’ll just do a little bit more solar, a bit more wind and we’ll get there.

Reforestation is seen as essential in scenarios outlined by the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change, if the world is to restrict warming to 1.5C. Although the project is technically doable, it would not be commercially viable without changes to government policies and regulations.

In the past year, Shell has made investments in electric car infrastructure firms, offered support to the government bringing forward its proposed ban on new petrol and diesel car sales, and bought up one of the UK’s biggest electricity and gas suppliers.

Van Beurden said renewables would become a larger part of what the company does in the future, but it could only move as fast as society did. This means that Shell’s core business is and will be for the foreseeable future, in oil and gas.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

There are plenty of resources online about how to plant a tree. We do not need to wait for some mega-corporation to do the work for us. Whether we start from a seed, clone an existing tree, or purchase a grown tree from a nursery. It would be great to involve your kids in the plantings, to get them into the habit. Start with your own house, streets, communities, churches, schools, parks, the opportunities are limitless. Check with your local public officials if you want to plant a tree in a public space. If we each plant one seed (or one tree) a day, soon we will have another amazon rainforest within a lifespan.

Think about it.

[via The Guardian]

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