Because growing trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, forests can help fight climate change by capturing fossil fuel emissions. As a result, large-scale tree planting is an increasingly popular component of global efforts to meet climate targets. However, the role of forests in climate mitigation is complex, and poorly planned planting efforts can actually increase CO2 emissions and warming. Only through open communication among scientists, policy-makers, and environmental groups can we ensure the multiple ecological and societal benefits of planted forests.

As part of London Climate Action Week, the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London will host a discussion on this emerging natural solution to fighting climate change. This event will address how much carbon different types of forests can store, and evaluate best practices for balancing reforestation, afforestation, and forest conservation based on the three Ws;

  • Where to plant trees;
  • What tree species are ecologically suited to the site;
  • Who are the local stakeholders who will be affected by changes in land use.

The discussion will be chaired by co-director of the Grantham Institute, Professor Martin Siegert. He will be joined by:

  • Dr Bonnie Waring, co-author of a new Grantham Institute briefing note titled ‘What role can forests play in tackling climate change?’
  • and Dwayne Fields, a presenter, naturalist, adventurer and explorer whose work to inspire children from various backgrounds to explore the outdoors saw him awarded the Freedom of the City of London (@DwayneFields)

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