A fortnight after wildfires licked London, mayor Sadiq Khan has announced a major tree planting drive in the capital.
Around a fifth of London is under tree canopy, and this week Khan pledged £3.1m to enhance the city’s “urban forest”. The funding will be targeted at areas where there are fewer trees, typically deprived neighbourhoods.
“Trees are a versatile solution to the climate and nature crises, so it’s promising that there are plans to plant more of them,” Paul de Zylva, senior sustainability analyst at Friends of the Earth, told Positive News. “But it’s crucial that the right trees are planted in the right places.”
As well as sucking CO2 out of the air, trees help cool down cities, countering the so called ‘urban heat island’ effect.
Wildfires have prompted a raft of reforestation pledges lately. Last week, president Joe Biden announced plans to plant 1bn trees in the US. President Macron has also pledged to reforest swathes of France in the wake of devastating wildfires.
Image: Max Van Den Oetelaar