The GOP solution to lowering carbon emissions? Plant trees

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 13, 2020 - Duration: 02:32s

The GOP solution to lowering carbon emissions? Plant trees

Republican lawmakers on Wednesday proposed legislation setting a goal for the United States to plant a trillion trees by 2050 to fight global warming, a plan intended to address climate change by sucking carbon out of the air instead of by cutting emissions.

Gavino Garay has more.

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The GOP solution to lowering carbon emissions? Plant trees

While Democrats have blasted U.S. President Donald Trump for being a "climate denier", Republicans on Wednesday proposed new legislation aimed at cutting down on carbon emissions.

Their plan: Plant more trees.

Specifically, one trillion trees by 2050.

But critics say that avoids the root of the problem - carbon emissions from the use of fossil fuels.

And that planting trees - meant to help suck carbon out of the air - is insufficient in the fight against global warming.

Trump's just-unveiled budget plan, in fact, proposes steep CUTS to environmental protections - something Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was blasted for by Democratic Senator Tom Carper at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Wednesday.

(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) DEMOCRATIC SEN.

TOM CARPER, SAYING: "Instead of proposing tax policies that actually lead to reducing carbon, we get just the opposite.

Why is that?" (SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY STEVE MNUCHIN, SAYING: "Uh, again, let me just say the president very much supports clean air and clean water." (SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) DEMOCRATIC SEN.

TOM CARPER, SAYING: "He's reduced - the administration proposed reducing EPA funding by I think almost a third.

Almost a third.

But go ahead." (SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY STEVE MNUCHIN, SAYING: "Again, I'd be happy to come and talk to you about the different policies.

I don't know what you want me to comment on specifically on this." Trump, who has repeatedly cast doubt on the science of climate change, had expressed support for the idea of a massive tree-planting campaign during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month.

That prompted 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg to retort that fixing the climate crisis was not just about trees, but about divesting in fossil fuels.

Mnuchin then took a swipe at Thunberg, saying she should study economics in college.

She hit back by tweeting that it didn't take a degree to know the world is falling short on its climate goals.

Additional bills focused on so-called carbon emission "innovation" will be released over the coming weeks - ideas include tax credit incentives for carbon capture technology from power plants and a boost to "cleaner" nuclear energy and natural gas.

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