President Donald Trump surprised the international ecological community with a pledge to join the One Trillion Trees initiative to fight climate change.
In 2019’s World Economic Forum, ecologist Dr. Thomas Crowther posited that planting 1.2 trillion trees could compensate for global CO2 emissions. Now, the U.S. will officially join the effort to preserve the planet. “We’re committed to conserving the majesty of God’s creation and the natural beauty of our world,” Trump said.
Trump called himself “a very big believer in the environment,” after recently explaining to reporters that he no longer believes climate change is a hoax. “Nothing’s a hoax about that. It’s a very serious subject,” he told reporters two weeks ago. “I want clean air; I want clean water. I want the cleanest air with the cleanest water. The environment’s very important to me.”
This is a very different tone than the POTUS struck during his controversial decision to withdraw from the international Paris Climate Accord, which he criticized as being a ploy to siphon jobs and money from Americans.
“No responsible leader can put the workers — and the people — of their country at this debilitating and tremendous disadvantage,” said Trump at the time, adding that the Accord “hamstrings the United States, while empowering some of the world’s top polluting countries.”
These recent remarks came on the back of a Thursday announcement of changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that would exempt agencies from considering climate change among the environmental impacts of infrastructure projects — a practice that Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said had “paralyzed commonsense decisionmaking for a generation.”
Trump was not specific about how the U.S. would participate in the initiative, simply stating that we “will continue to show strong leadership in restoring, growing and better managing our trees and our forests. “