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Government’s Net Zero plan for tree planting may increase global warming, climate scientists find


London, 12 April – Findings by an international team of climate scientists suggest that the government’s Net Zero project to plant millions of trees in Britain is likely to increase rather than decrease global temperature.

In a new paper published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change the scientists look at the climate effects of deforestation at different latitudes.

The researchers find that at latitudes 50°N to 60°N – in other words essentially all of the UK – and above, deforestation contributes to global cooling, so afforestation (which has opposing effects to deforestation) will contribute to global warming. That is because increased forestation reduces reflection of solar radiation, substantially outweighing its cooling effect via carbon dioxide sequestration.

As part of their Net Zero strategy, the government is spending £750 million on reforesting in England by 2025, at a time when public finances are under immense strain, and with food shortages threatened.

The new research findings, however, suggests that the Government’s plans are not only wasteful – and often detrimental to the environment and food security – but may actually increase global temperature, the opposite of the intended effect of the Net Zero project.

Full paper: Deborah Lawrence et al. (2022) The Unseen Effects of Deforestation: Biophysical Effects on Climate, Front. For. Glob. Change, 24 March 2022


Dr Benny Peiser
Director, Net Zero Watch
e: [email protected]
m: 07553 361717



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