National Trust commits to net zero carbon by 2030

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
The National Trust will plant 20 million new trees in ten years. Photo credit: National Trust, John Miller

The National Trust unveiled a plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030 in a speech by director general Hilary McGrady last week.

To mark the charity’s 125th anniversary, McGrady outlined a series of initiatives in place to meet the target.

The National Trust will plant 20 million new trees in ten years, following the government-commissioned Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation to create woodland to mitigate the climate crisis.

More than 18,000 hectares of woodland will be established across the country to ‘lock up’ 300,000 tonnes of carbon – equivalent to the electricity output of 370,000 homes per year.

This means 17% of the land the charity cares for will be covered in woodland – which is the figure required nationwide if the government is to hit its own net zero target by 2050.

The Trust will also invest in renewable energy and continue its work to help clean up the UK’s rivers and waterways and reintroduce species.

This year, it plans to introduce beavers to Somerset and the South Downs.

The Trust has also launched a year-long campaign to help people connect to the natural environment, which it hopes may help tackle the climate crisis.

Planned activities include tree planting, river and beach cleaning, birdwatching, outdoor yoga, and a celebration of Britain’s blossom season.

McGrady said: “We are making these ambitious announcements in response to what is needed from our institution today.

“As Europe’s biggest conservation charity, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to fight climate change, which poses the biggest threat to the places, nature, and collections we care for.

“People need nature now more than ever. If they connect with it then they look after it. And working together is the only way we can reverse the decline in wildlife and the challenges we face due to climate change.”

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