Rodolphe Barrangou reveals the nightmare of his CRISPR world. photo: Langelle/GJEP

Trees to Solve the World’s Problems?

From Genetically Engineered Trees for the Bioeconomy – to the Trillion Tree Proposal and Business for Nature

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By Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle, Global Justice Ecology Project

This report examines events and research publicized between 23 June and 4 July 2019 that discuss the mass-use of trees to enable the unsustainable lifestyles of the world’s top 1% in the face of looming ecological catastrophe: from trees genetically engineered to feed the “green” manufacture of energy, plastics and chemicals; the planting of trillions of trees to reduce global atmospheric carbon levels; and “reforms” to the economic system to allow future profit-making under the guise of biodiversity protection.

The three events where these proposals were brought out were the International Union of Forest Research Organization’s 2019 Tree Biotechnology Conference 23-29 June at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, The Global Tree Restoration Potential, a new study published on 4 July in Science, and the launch of Business for Nature initiatives in China and Norway on 2 July.

Click here for the full report.

One trillion trees. A naive and dangerous distraction from the need to leave fossil fuels in the ground

REDD-Monitor 22 February 2020

At its meeting in Davos last month, the World Economic Forum launched a new initiative to plant one trillion trees. Even Donald Trump is on board.

During his speech in Davos, Trump announced that,

“We’re committed to conserving the majesty of God’s creation and the natural beauty of our world. Today, I am pleased to announce the United States will join One Trillion Trees Initiative being launched here at the World Economic Forum. One Trillion Trees.”

Apart from at the end of the speech, that was the only time during Trump’s 30-minute-long speech that the audience clapped.

“A big eye on our forests”

Marc Benioff, the billionaire founder of Salesforce, a Customer Relationship Management firm, was on the panel in Davos that announced the initiative. Benioff and his wife will provide funding for the One Trillion Trees initiative.

In his speech, Benioff said,

We are certainly at a time of planetary emergency. We realise that our planet is getting warmer and we need to find ways and solutions, and we are all going to become number one, carbon net zero and reduce emissions, and number two, we have to sequester or eliminate the carbon that has been emitted into the atmosphere.”

Needless to say, Benioff focussed exclusively on number two. “We need to get a big eye on our forests so that we can use them to sequester this carbon,” he said.

Benioff spoke about a conversation he had with Jane Goodall at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September 2018. Goodall asked him what he was doing for the forests. “And I didn’t have an answer,” he said in Davos. “I didn’t know what to say. And I had it in my mind though, that it was a loop, that I needed to have something to say.”

Goodall was also on the panel in Davos. Predictably, no one mentioned the impact of the Jane Goodall Institute’s REDD project in Tanzania on local communities. Here’s how one villager described the violent evictions that took place in 2012 as part of the REDD project…

To read more visit REDD-Monitor


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