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.


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.


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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