Ontario just cut plans to reduce its carbon footprint as Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario, Canada decided to cancel an initiative that would have planted 50 million trees across the province and would have absorbed a considerable amount of carbon dioxide.
This is not the first eco-friendly plan Ford has sidelined as he previously got rid of a carbon cap that was expected to bring in billions of dollars to the government. Ford also ditched a plan to test cars for harmful emissions and is having a bit of trouble with Toronto’s subways, but his latest move could have much wider implications.
Planting trees is one of the best ways to naturally absorb carbon and cut down on air pollution. Trees act as a filter and soak up carbon in the atmosphere, storing it for later use. The millions of trees that were supposed to be planted in Ontario would have made a big impact in cutting carbon in the province and surrounding region. That opportunity, however, was squashed by Ford’s latest decision.
Instead of planting trees, Ford is banking the money that would have been used for the project and using it to fund another initiative related to beer. Rob Keen, the leader of a group called Forests Ontario, says that the cancellation could affect the forests in the region, which need at least 40 percent coverage to survive.
Keen added that not planting the trees will increase erosion in areas of Ontario that are prone to flooding. Bodies of water in the region, including lakes and rivers, will also get warmer with the lack of shade from trees.
Lastly, water and air quality will also go down as a result of the canceled program. Ford has not commented on the backlash his administration has received, but we can only hope that lawmakers realize the mistake and do their best to reduce their carbon footprint in the near future.
Via Tree Hugger
Image via Daniel Joseph Petty