COP26: UK’S Prime Minister tells the world to plant 1 trillion trees by 2030

He says the UK will lead by ending new car sales by 2030 and urged developed countries to end the use of coal-fed power stations by 2030.
He says the UK will lead by ending new car sales by 2030 and urged developed countries to end the use of coal-fed power stations by 2030.

UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on Monday, called on the world to plant a trillion trees by 2030, as it is the only non-technical way to “fix the carbon in the air.”

“We can plant hundreds of millions of trees, a trillion. It is not technologically difficult, and halt and reverse deforestation by 2030. Not that it is a spiritually beautiful and uplifting thing to do, but because that is the way to restore that balance of nature and to fix carbon in the air,”

The UK is hosting the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) which started on October 31. The conference is being attended by about 2500 delegates and thousands of activists at the Scottish Event Campus.

Speaking during the first part of the High-level segment for heads of state and government, Boris stressed the need to reverse climate change by reducing the rising temperature of the planet, which he says is entirely man-made.

“The doom’s day clock is furiously ticking as the world is covered in an invisible and suffocating blanket of CO2,” Boris said.

He warned that is not controlled, rising temperature by 2 degrees more will jeopardize the entire food supply for hundreds of millions of people.

“If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow.”

One of the four main focuses of COP26 centers on achieving four main things; securing a net global zero by midcentury, and keeping the temperature within 1.5 degrees. These goals were arrived at during the Paris Agreement, in 2015. The agreement, adopted by 196 countries, during the COP21, is a legally binding international treaty on climate change, to limit global warming below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

To achieve these ambitions, countries will have to do deliver these targets by midcentury through; curbing deforestation, fast-tracking the phasing out of coal, switching to electric cars, and encouraging investment in renewable energy.

However, Boris said promises made at the 2015 Paris Agreement such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero will mean nothing if countries do not begin to close down on the billions of hydrocarbon combustion chambers littered all over the world with greater speed and efficiency.

He says the UK will lead by ending new car sales by 2030 and urged developed countries to end the use of coal-fed power stations by 2030.

“We can phase out the use of cars with hydrocarbon internal combustion engines by 2030. The UK is leading the ending of new sales by 2030. We can end the use of coal-fed power stations by 2040 in the developing countries, and 2030 in the richer nations.” Boris said.

But for the net-zero goal to come to fruition, developing countries need huge sums of money. In 2009, developed countries, during COP15 in Copenhagen promised to raise 100 billion US dollars from public and private sources each year by 2020 to avert climate crisis in developing countries. However published figures by Organization for cooperation and Development by 2019, only 80 billion dollars had been raised.

Boris said the money will not be delivered until 2023, while stressing that it is the mandate of the developed countries to help poor countries reduce their emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change, which is mainly a doing of the rich countries.

“Because it was here in Glasgow, 250 years ago that James Watt came up with a machine that was powered by steam that was produced by burning coal.”

“And yes, my friends we brought you to the very place where the doomsday machine began to tick. And even though for 200 years the developed countries were in complete ignorance of the problem we were creating, we now have to find those funds.”

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said the last six years after the Paris Agreement were the hottest on record.

“Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We face a stark choice: Either we stop it — or it stops us,” Guterres said.

This story was originally published on Black Star News, with the support of Climate Tracker.

Caroline Ayugi
Caroline longs to experience dry seasons which don’t drain the energy out of her (because of extreme heat). She sees climate journalism as an intersectional way of storytelling that bridges scientific/policy dialogue with personal lived experiences. She prays for the time when cow dung will smell like cow dung again, and not like human feaces, because they, too, have to be forced to eat posho (maize flour bread) to supplement the inadequate pasture.