Under the European Green Deal, 3 billion additional trees to be planted by 2030
The European Commission will count and monitor the progress. It will provide political and technical support, communication and labelling, and will work alongside the European Environmental Agency on a user-friendly counting and monitoring platform called Map My Tree.
Under the European Green Deal, the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 commits to planting at least 3 billion additional trees in the EU by 2030.
The Commission has proposed a dedicated EU forest strategy for 2030 to improve the quantity and quality of EU forests. It includes a roadmap outlining how the Commission will help to achieve the 3 billion additional trees pledge.
Why plant 3 billion additional trees?
Forests are a key part of the solution to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. Planting 3 billion additional trees across the EU by 2030 will increase the area of forest and tree coverage in the EU increase the resilience of forests and their role in reversing biodiversity loss mitigate and help us adapt to climate change.
In the EU, it is estimated that almost 300 million trees have grown each year between 2010 and 2015.
The aim is to double these numbers so that we reach 600 million trees grown per year. This means we would have 3 billion additional trees by 2030 compared to the “business as usual” scenario.
How can we achieve this target?
The additional trees need to be planted and grown in full respect of ecological principles. This means that the right tree has to be planted in the right place and for the right purpose. This requires long-term planning and monitoring.
In practice, this means planting the right mix of tree species not only in forests, but also in agroforestry, agricultural and urban areas. No trees should be planted in areas of high nature value such as mires, bogs, fens, wetlands, peatlands, and grasslands. Tree planting is particularly beneficial in cities, while in rural areas it can work well with agroforestry, landscape features and increased carbon sequestration.
What else is the EU doing to protect forests?
This pledge will not solve the climate nor the biodiversity crisis on its own. Planting new trees is not an alternative to preserving existing trees, but a complement to broader conservation action. The Commission is taking further action to improve the quality and quantity of EU forests through the new EU forest strategy for 2030. This strategy aims to increase forest coverage in the EU whilst respecting ecological principles, and improve the resilience of forests in the EU. It includes commitments to strictly protect remaining EU primary and old-growth forests, ensure that forests are managed sustainably, and improve the monitoring of EU forests.