Carbon offsetting is a 'waste of time': Scientists say tree-planting schemes loved by celebrities as an excuse for flying are actually HARMING nature

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  • Celebrities often usage offsetting to cancel retired gases emitted by flying backstage jets
  • But planting trees successful immense schemes to 'offset' c emissions is harming nature

By Colin Fernandez Environment Editor For The Daily Mail

Published: 11:00 EDT, 3 October 2023 | Updated: 12:39 EDT, 3 October 2023

Planting trees successful immense schemes to 'offset' c emissions is harming nature, an Oxford study has claimed.

Celebrities and tycoons including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Elton John, Emma Watson and Amazon laminitis Jeff Bezos person each said they person utilized offsetting to cancel retired nan greenhouse gases emitted by activities specified arsenic flying successful backstage jets.

But erstwhile offsetting involves planting ample numbers of a azygous types of tree, it tin really degrade nan environment, nan authors argued.

Single type plantations are harmful to biodiversity and put forests much astatine consequence of fire, it is argued, while they do small to suck up greenhouse gases.

Instead, nan authors said we should prioritise conserving and restoring intact ecosystems.

Planting trees successful immense schemes to 'offset' c emissions is harming nature, a caller Oxford study claims

Writing successful nan diary Trends successful Ecology and Evolution, scientists from nan Environmental Change Institute astatine Oxford University said nan attraction connected offsetting c astatine each costs damages different aspects of nan ecosystem.

Author Dr Jesús Aguirre-Gutiérrez said: 'Despite nan wide scope of ecosystem functions and services provided by tropical ecosystems, nine has reduced worth of these ecosystems to conscionable 1 metric – carbon.

'Current and caller argumentation should not beforehand ecosystem degradation via character plantations pinch a constrictive position connected c capture.'

Although immoderate projects reforest degraded land, astir impact what is known arsenic afforestation – planting forests successful undegraded and antecedently unforested regions specified arsenic grasslands.

Tropical ecosystems are highly biodiverse, and supply aggregate ecosystem services, specified arsenic maintaining h2o quality, ungraded health, and pollination.

In comparison, carbon-capture plantations are usually monocultures and are dominated by conscionable 5 character species, teak, mahogany, cedar, silk oak, and achromatic wattle, grown for timber, pulp, aliases agroforestry.

The consequence is that these plantations usually support a little level of biodiversity. 

For example, successful nan Brazilian Cerrado savannah, a 40 per cent summation successful woody screen reduced nan diverseness of plants and ants by astir 30 per cent.

In truth tropical grasslands and savannahs are already c sinks and, dissimilar trees, are little susceptible to disturbances specified arsenic drought and fire.

These plantations tin besides straight degrade ecosystems by reducing watercourse flow, depleting groundwater, and acidifying soils.

Dr Aguirre-Gutiérrez said: 'The existent inclination of carbon-focused character planting' is creating monocultures for 'little c gain'.

He added: 'An area balanced to nan full summed area of USA, UK, China, and Russia would person to beryllium forested to sequester 1 twelvemonth of emissions.'

READ MORE: Climate alteration is having a bigger effect connected rainforest ecosystems than deforestation 

Climate alteration is having a bigger effect connected nan rainforest than deforestation, a caller study of mammals successful South America claims.

Researchers astatine nan Field Museum successful Chicago opportunity that while logging causes immoderate section animal populations to dice out, world warming wipes retired full species.

Previously, it was believed nan multi-billion-dollar logging manufacture posed nan biggest threat to ecosystems, but researchers now opportunity ambiance alteration has a bigger impact.

Lead writer Professor Noe de la Sancha said 'Save nan Rainforests' is simply a snappy motto but it doesn't show nan afloat communicative of really analyzable it is to do conscionable that.

He said they've created a elaborate measurement of biodiversity by looking astatine nan assortment of type and their spot successful nan ecosystem, alternatively than nan full number of creatures.

By measuring characteristics for illustration ear, foot, and tail size successful type for illustration Euryoryzomys russatus, researchers tin quantify functional diverseness successful ample rainforests


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