The cheapest way to halt the effects of climate change could be planting 1 trillion trees, according to a new study.
The study in the journal Science, first reported by The Associated Press, found that planting trees could be the most effective way to remove carbon from the atmosphere, but cautioned that it would have little effect without a reduction of emissions around the globe.
“This is by far — by thousands of times — the cheapest climate change solution” study co-author Thomas Crowther, an ecologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, said.
“It’s certainly a monumental challenge, which is exactly the scale of the problem of climate change,” he added.
Though, Crowther cautioned, “None of this works without emissions cuts.”
Scientists with the United Nations have called for a major reduction in carbon emissions over the next decade to stave off the worst effects of climate change, including rising sea levels and dangerous weather phenomena.
Lawmakers around the world have debated on how to address the issue, and in 2017 the U.S. withdrew from a major accord meant to battle climate change due to President Trump‘s opposition to the pact.
Democratic candidates for president, including former Vice President Joe Biden, have called for the U.S. to rejoin the agreement. Progressives are pushing an ambitious plan to cut U.S. carbon emissions, the Green New Deal, introduced earlier this year by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
If enacted, the Green New Deal calls for the transition of America’s energy grid away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Source: The Hill