Scrutinising the English Trees Strategy

| 29th April 2020
Tree planting
Wikimedia
Ministers must commit to doubling tree cover in the UK, from the current level of 13 percent to 26 percent.

Trees are one of our most important natural allies in fixing the climate and nature crises.

Ministers will soon be launching a consultation on their long-awaited English Tree Strategy. This is a crucial policy announcement that will determine how many trees we grow in England for years to come.

Accessing woodland and other natural habitats has never been more important to our health and wellbeing, and the carbon absorption by trees must form a key part of the fight against climate breakdown.

But Friends of the Earth (FOE) is concerned that the policy being launched at this time means that it will not get the scrutiny and attention it needs.

Political imagination

The strategy is likely to contain a weak target for increasing tree cover and may not even include a target at all. What use is a strategy without a target? This lacklustre level of ambition is unacceptable.

A statement release by Friends of the Earth said: "This is an outdated, puny target that the government had already signed up to back in 2013 - before the Paris Agreement, before committing to net-zero carbon, and before parliament declared a climate emergency. It’s time that political will on trees catches up to the climate and nature crisis we’re facing.

"Trees are one of our most important natural allies in fixing the climate and nature crises. Ministers must commit to doubling tree cover in the UK, from the current level of 13 percent, so it reaches 26 percent. 

We've got enough suitable landwe've got public support, it just needs political imagination - the missing ingredient in this lacklustre strategy."

122,000 people have signed Friends of the Earth's petition to double UK tree cover, which will be virtually delivered to Zac Goldsmith.

Friends of the Earth supporters will also tweet at Zac Goldsmith to tell him they want to see UK tree cover doubled.

This Article 

This article is based on a press release from Friends of the Earth. 

Image: Alex Indigo, Wikipedia. 

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