A new study shows how many trees will need to be planted in two of Spain’s biggest cities if they are to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Authorities in Barcelona and Madrid have pledged to plant three million trees each in a bid to slash their carbon emissions. 

According to the study by travel luggage network Radical Storage, Barcelona will be among the top three cities in the world to have the most trees per square kilometer. 

Researchers estimated the Catalonian capital had about 1,400,000 trees at present, resulting in 13,738.96 trees per sq km. 

Madrid New Park West 8
Madrid started work this month on building Europe’s largest metropolitan forest. Photo: West 8

If Barcelona committed to plant three million more it would increase its number of trees by 32% to 43,179.59 trees per sq km. 

But the city would need to plant more than 155,200,000 trees to curb its current carbon footprint of 26.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, according to the research. 

Meanwhile, Madrid has a current carbon footprint of 43.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

According to the study, the Spanish capital would need to plant more than 260 million trees to combat its emissions, increasing its number of trees per sq km to 430,501.41. 

It comes as authorities in Madrid started work this month on building Europe’s largest metropolitan forest.

Dubbed ‘El Bosque Metropolitano’ (the metropolitan forest), it will be the new green lung of the city with more than 450,000 new trees and other vegetation. 

Barcelona Unsplash
Barcelona has committed to plant three million more trees. Photo: Barcelona Unsplash

It’s part of a plan called Madrid 360 degrees, a series of measures being introduced by the city’s government to improve air quality and meet emission limits set by the European Commission. 

The forest will stretch along a 75km environmental belt around Madrid’s perimeter, with new parks, children’s zones, dog trails and hiking and biking routes – the first trees were planted this month.

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