THREE regional governments in Spain plan to plant millions of trees to help offset the impact of the country’s spiralling greenhouse gas emissions, environment officials said.
Authorities in Castilla la Mancha plan to increase the region’s forested area from one million to five million hectares within four years while the Basque Country will fund the planting of 250,000 trees in Kenya.
Officials from the Communidad de Madrid have announced an initiative to plant more than one million trees around the capital, which already claims to be Europe’s greenest.
It is claimed this will absorb 9,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year from Madrid’s atmosphere.
“Work on introducing the trees will begin immediately and will be completed by 2011,” chief of the regional government’s environmental department, Ana Botella, said.
The moves come as central government fears Spain is struggling to meet its 2012 targets under the Kyoto agreement.
Under the agreement, Spain is only allowed an increase of 15 per cent in its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the four year period between 2008 and 2012.
However, the government estimates the country’s CO2 output will be 37 per cent higher than its 1990 base level.
Spain aims to offset 20 percentage points of that via United Nations-approved clean energy projects in developing countries, and a further two points by tree planting initiatives.