Plant more trees to combat climate change

By Gu Zhongyang
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, February 24, 2011
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This Spring Festival, my cousin received a gift from her brother—a 200 yuan carbon sink gift card and a car sticker. The card means that in Tengchong, Yunnan, a tree is growing up quietly from her donation. She called it the most meaningful gift she has ever received.

A carbon sink is anything that absorbs more carbon than it releases. The approach to reduce the daily emissions of carbon dioxide through buying the carbon sinks is becoming increasingly popular among low-carbon lifestyle advocators and green-minded individuals.

At the beginning of the Chinese New Year, my cousin proudly attached the car sticker with the message: "Join the Carbon Offset campaign and eliminate the carbon footprint (emissions)." She has become an advocate for reducing carbon emissions and tells others about the benefit of carbon sinks.

Cooking, driving, using electricity—we are emitting carbon dioxide every day. But as responsible global residents, we can try to find ways to reduce daily emission of carbon dioxide.

The Earth is experiencing a greater amount of extreme weather and less blue skies with puffy white clouds. The malignant climate change has made it harder to live a sustainable life. We have produced too much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our daily lives.

What's the best way to cope with the threat of climate change? Currently, the most effective way is to reduce industrial emissions by planting trees. Experts have estimated that if each of us plant three trees a year, then daily emissions of carbon dioxide could be absorbed. Forests can absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, and they can also help remove carbon dioxide in the vegetation and soil. Forests are the largest terrestrial carbon reservoirs and the most economical carbon absorption device.

Compared with industrial emissions, forest carbon sequestration needs less investment but comes with high overall efficiency. China is vigorously promoting industrial energy conservation and reduction of pollutants and also promoting forestry ecological construction. China promises the world that it will devote major efforts to increase the forest carbon sinks, adding 40 million more hectares of forest in 2020 than that of 2005.

In China, every citizen has the obligation to plant trees. Although China's reproduction area ranks first in the world and the forms for fulfilling the responsibility of planting trees also have been expanded, there was only 63 percent of active labor force who fulfilled their duty. How many of us plant trees on our own initiative each year?

You will probably say that you're too busy working and earning a living. But even if you are busy, you can buy carbon sinks and ask others to plant trees for you. This innovative form of tree-planting let you fulfill your voluntary tree-planting duties conveniently and meaningfully.

Spring is coming. Let us plant trees and work together to expand carbon sequestration.

(This post was first written in Chinese and translated by Li Huiru.)

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of

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