President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwo ethics groups call on House to begin impeachment inquiry against Barr Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis McGrath: McConnell ‘can’t get it done’ on COVID-19 relief MORE on Tuesday signed an executive order involving the federal government in a global tree planting initiative that already has private sector participation in the U.S.
The executive order creates a council that’s in charge of “developing, coordinating, and promoting Federal Government interactions with the Initiative with respect to tree growing, restoration, and conservation.”
The council will also create methods to track and measure the number of trees planted, conserved or restored and address any laws and regulations that get in the way of these actions.
“On January 21, 2020, I announced that to further protect the environment, the United States would be joining the World Economic Forum’s One Trillion Trees initiative… an ambitious global effort to grow and conserve one trillion trees worldwide by 2030,” the executive order said.
“Following through on my commitment, and given the expansive footprint of our Federal forests and woodlands, this order initiates the formation of the United States One Trillion Trees Interagency Council to further the Federal Government’s contribution to the global effort,” it continued.
The order did not specify how many trees the federal government would seek to grow or conserve.
The Trump administration has touted its decision to join the World Economic Forum’s Trillion Trees Initiative, which plans to grow, restore and conserve that many trees across the globe, as an action it has taken to better the environment.
However, it has also taken steps to reduce restrictions on the timber industry cutting down trees.
It has proposed, for example, opening up a previously protected 9.37 million acre area of the Tongass National Forest to logging. That forest is a major carbon sink, meaning its trees soak up carbon from the atmosphere, lessening the impacts of climate change.
Scientists have said planting trees can help but that it isn’t a panacea and that the U.S. will also have to significantly reduce its emissions to mitigate climate change impacts.
The new council will be chaired by Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueUSDA’s Perdue fined for violating Hatch Act while promoting food boxes OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA gives Oklahoma authority over many tribal environmental issues | More than 60 Democrats ask feds to reconsider Tongass logging plan | EPA faces decision on chemical linked to brain damage in children More than 60 Democrats ask feds to reconsider Tongass logging plan MORE, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Trump’s economic advisor Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE and and Deputy Chief of Staff Christopher LiddellChristopher Pell LiddellMORE.
Other council members are presidential advisers Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpKardashian West uses star power to pressure US on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict Aide says Trump campaign doesn’t want remote debates Doctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerKardashian West uses star power to pressure US on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict Doctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health Trump’s COVID-19 case draws new attention to handling of pandemic MORE, and several cabinet members including Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump’s Hail Mary passes won’t get him in the end zone The Anglosphere: The great power alliance right under Washington’s nose Trump silence on Nagorno-Karabakh weighs on Armenian-American voters MORE, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Trump faces unusual barrier to COVID-19 aid in GOP allies | Advocates plead for housing aid as eviction cliff looms Removing the bone in our throat: Senate must advance the stimulus bill Trump faces unusual barrier to COVID-19 aid: GOP allies MORE, Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperTrump campaign ad features military chiefs, violating Pentagon policy Appeals court blocks further construction on Trump border wall Overnight Defense: Pentagon retracing steps of top officials after positive coronavirus case | Trump suggests Gold Star families could have infected him | VP debate brings up military topics MORE, EPA Administrator Andrew WheelerAndrew WheelerOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats allege EPA plans to withhold funding from ‘anarchist’ cities | Montana asks court to throw out major public lands decisions after ousting BLM director | It’s unknown if fee reductions given to oil producers prevented shutdowns Democrats allege EPA plans to withhold funding from ‘anarchist’ cities OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA gives Oklahoma authority over many tribal environmental issues | More than 60 Democrats ask feds to reconsider Tongass logging plan | EPA faces decision on chemical linked to brain damage in children MORE and Education Secretary Betsy Devos.
A total of 26 companies, cities and nonprofit organizations announced in August that they too would participate in the program, with the goal of planting or conserving 855 million trees by 2030.
The cities of Detroit and Dallas and companies Mastercard, Microsoft and Bank of America, are among those that are participating.
President Trump announced in January that the U.S. would participate in the initiative, saying at the time that the country “will continue to show strong leadership in restoring, growing and better managing our trees and our forests.”