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Donald Trump's tree planting plan covers a shady environmental record

When it comes to climate change, Donald Trump and Al Gore are barely on the same planet, much less the same page. But they concur on one thing: a plan to plant 1 trillion trees around the world as a way to protect the environment.

A tree stump in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 24, 2020.

EPA:One Trillion Trees Initiative will build on President Trump’s commitment

That’s about as far as their agreement goes. Gore understands that tree planting is just one of many steps needed to help stave off catastrophic global warming. Trump, on the other hand, seems to regard it as a substitute for other necessary and substantive actions.

With polls showing most Americans (86% of Democrats, 55% of Republicans and 78% of independents) demanding action on climate change, the president, who famously labeled global warming a hoax, is suddenly sounding like a tree hugger.

“To protect the environment, days ago I announced that the United States will join the One Trillion Trees initiative,” he declared in his State of the Union address last week, without actually mentioning climate change.

5.8B tons of greenhouse gas emissions

The initiative, announced by the World Economic Forum, would promote the conservation, restoration and growth of trees worldwide. In conjunction, Republicans in Congress have drafted legislation committing the United States to a goal of planting 3.3 billion trees annually in rural and urban areas through private partnerships and schoolchildren.

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