One trillion trees – World Economic Forum launches plan to help nature and the climate

22 Jan 2020
Robin Pomeroy Journalist, World Economic Forum

Global Risks Report 2020

Global Risks Report 2020

Deforestation causes almost as much greenhouse gas emissions as global road travel. Here`s how we can help halt it.

forestry map
  • Davos initiative aims to unite and promote reforestation efforts worldwide.
  • Forum hopes to mobilize funds and political support.
  • Even climate sceptic Trump has pledged to back its work

The World Economic Forum has launched a global initiative to grow, restore and conserve 1 trillion trees around the world – in a bid to restore biodiversity and help fight climate change.

The project aims to unite governments, non-governmental organisations, businesses and individuals in a “mass-scale nature restoration”.

A day ahead of its official launch, the initiative received the support of US President Donald Trump. While a sceptic on climate change, Trump said he wanted to show “strong leadership in restoring, growing and better managing our trees and our forests”.

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said: “The next decade must see unprecedented levels of collaboration if we are to meet global climate, biodiversity and Sustainable Development Goals. presents an important example of how stakeholders from all walks of life and all ages can work together to achieve a single, globally significant goal.”

Reforestation could be popular.

The Forum acknowledged the work of existing reforestation schemes such as American Forests and the Trillion Trees Initiative and said was “an opportunity to help join-up these initiatives in a unifying platform”, and help mobilize funds and political support.

“Nature-based solutions – locking-up carbon in the world’s forests, grasslands and wetlands – can provide up to one-third of the emissions reductions required by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement targets,” the Forum said. The rest of the emissions reductions would have to come from the energy, heavy industry and finance sectors.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about deforestation?

Halting deforestation is essential to avoiding the worst effects of global climate change.

The destruction of forests creates almost as much greenhouse gas emissions as global road travel, and yet it continues at an alarming rate.

In 2012, we brought together more than 150 partners working in Latin America, West Africa, Central Africa and South-East Asia – to establish the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020: a global public-private partnership to facilitate investment in systemic change.

The Alliance, made up of businesses, governments, civil society, indigenous people, communities and international organizations, helps producers, traders and buyers of commodities often blamed for causing deforestation to achieve deforestation-free supply chains.

The Commodities and Forests Agenda 2020, summarizes the areas in which the most urgent action is needed to eliminate deforestation from global agricultural supply chains.

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020is gaining ground on tackling deforestation linked to the production of four commodities: palm oil, beef, soy, and pulp and paper.

Get in touch to join our mission to halt to deforestation.

Naturalist Jane Goodall said: “ offers innovative technologies which will serve to connect tens of thousands of small and large groups around the world that are engaged in tree planting and forest restoration.”

Marc Benioff, CEO of cloud-based software company Salesforce, who is providing financial support for, said: “We are facing a planetary climate crisis and trees are one of the most effective ways to sequester carbon and stop the worst effects of climate change.”

He thanked Trump for joining the initiative and said: “Trees are a bi-partisan issue – everyone’s pro-trees.”