The Irish government has announced an ambitious plan to fight climate change, setting a planting target of 440 million trees by 2040, The Irish Times reported Saturday.
A spokeswoman for the government’s Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment told the local newspaper that the “climate action plan commits to delivering an expansion of forestry planting and soil management to ensure that carbon abatement from land-use is delivered over the period 2021 to 2030 and in the years beyond.”
“The plan sets out key actions to be taken by the Department of Agriculture,” she continued, adding: “The target for new forestation is approximately 22 million trees per year. Over the next 20 years, the target is to plant 440 million.”
According to the newspaper, the government’s new plan has been met with some opposition from local farmers, who officials reportedly need to persuade to dedicate some of their holdings for new forestry in order for the country to reach its ambitious goals.
The move comes after Scotland’s forestry agency announced earlier this year that the country surpassed its tree planting goals last year, making what it called a “critical contribution to the global climate emergency.”
The agency said 11,200 hectares, or some 43 square miles, of planting was carried out in last year — a jump from the government’s yearly planting target of 10,000 hectares, which would be approximately 39 square miles. Reports say the planting led to more than 22 million new trees.