Parliamentary Debate: A new opportunity out of economic crisis?
12 March 2012
Dr David Wilkinson, Reader in Environmental Science at LJMU's School of Natural Science and Psychology, recently gave an invited talk in the House of Commons during a meeting organised by the 'All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group' and the 'FREdome Visionary Trust'.
The aim of the meeting was to present various ideas about using trees to reduce carbon dioxide levels (so reducing 'global warming') to an audience of business leaders and other interested parties. Wilkinson's talk was on 'The greening of Ascension: a best case scenario for afforestation as a carbon sink?' In this, he discussed the case study of the manmade tropical forests on Green Mountain, Ascension Island in the context of using afforestation as a partial solution to global warming.
He also used this example to illustrate some of the complexities involved with tree planting to offset carbon emissions. He commented:
"There are occasions when trees may not be very effective in doing this and sometimes could even make the situation worse. However, in general, increasing the extent of forests – especially in the tropics – makes a positive contribution towards combating climate change. Although it cannot, by itself, solve the problem."
He also emphasised the importance of carbon locked up in soils.
"This is often overlooked, but even in forests more carbon can be stored in the soil that in the trees and other plants."
More details of the meeting are available at: