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Reforestation effort would lower Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent

A study by Britain’s Forestry Commission found that planting 23,000 hectares of forest every year for the next 40 years would lower the island nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent, according to reporting by the BBC.

The tree-planting effort would also raise Britain’s total amount of forest cover from 12 percent to 16 percent by 2050, provide habitat for wildlife, and add new flood protections to increasingly vulnerable areas. In the past century, Britain has already raised its amount of forest cover by 7 percent.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said that the government planned to work with communities to make the study happen.

A local conservation group, Woodland Trust, told the BBC that they believe the government should go even further. The organization would like to see forest land in Britain doubled.

It is estimated forests once covered 80 percent of Britain, however over half of the forests were gone by the end of Roman times.

The Times reports that the study is likely the first of its kind in the world. With nations across the world seeking innovative and cost-effective ways to lower greenhouse gas emissions, it’s unlikely this will be the last.

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