Tree planting is not a speedy enough solution to match abrupt climate change

With 40 billion tonnes of addressable, abandoned CO2 emissions being produced for several years in a row, no one should be under the illusion that the two to three planets’s worth of trees actually needed, nor the speed of CO2 removal can really be counted as action: it is more like just putting trees back.

Using biology like this is a pastoral approach, and is not appropriate for handling an abrupt climate shift, or several shifts in sequence as we may be looking at in terms of collapse milestones known as feed backs and tipping points.

Really, governments are just at the beginning of the virtuous chain of actions that are necessary to match the “speed of technology” that is behind this full spectrum disaster. Technology can provide the matching magnitude of GHG removals required to move the levels downward in a time frame that can mean reasonable human survival.

The trees planted will not remove us from the worst case scenarios pathways, which we are still firmly on. Don’t be pacified by governments who are still avoiding paying for technology based removal of gases. They need to be reminded that this is far from being dealt with and that working technology was needed thirty years ago.

Humanity, unfortunately is going to have to go into the “red” to ensure a feasible climate security picture. There is little government machinery in place to pay for public GHG removal, which means that politicians were the last to truly understand the situation. This does not bode well for humanity unless we all ensure that politicians know the IPCC has already spoken on this: GHG removal technologies are urgently required for immediate deployment and this should be their first priority above everything else.


Viva Cundliffe, PhD abd, climate strategist.

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