Why Boris’s tree planting plans could damage the environment

Tree planting is one of those motherhood-and-apple pie policies that it’s quite hard to argue with. We have a climate crisis, and a dreadful decline in biodiversity, and more trees will help with that. They will restore our denuded landscape to something more natural, and they’re good for our mental health. Only a curmudgeon could carp about tree planting, which is presumably why the main political parties spent the last election having a plant-off about how many trees they want to get in the ground. The government has a target of 30,000 hectares a year across the UK by 2025, and Boris Johnson has been linking his tree ambitions to

The fatal flaw in Boris’s ten point carbon plan

There is nothing wrong with the general direction of policy contained within the government’s ten point plan to cut carbon emissions, announced today. Who doesn’t want clean energy and more energy-efficient homes and vehicles? The problem is the perverse target which lies at its heart: the legally-binding demand, laid down in the Climate Change Act, to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. This is so badly defined that the government’s ten point plan becomes really little more than a manifesto to export much of British industry, food production and power generation. The UK’s definition of carbon emissions, as used in the Climate Change Act, covers only ‘territorial’ emissions