What went right: London’s ‘urban forest’, plus more positive news

London was promised many more trees

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has announced a major tree planting campaign in the capital a fortnight after wildfires devastated the city. 

Around a fifth of London is under tree canopy, and this week Khan pledged £3.1m to enhance the city’s “urban forest”. The funding will be directed at areas with fewer trees and deprived communities. 

“Trees are a versatile solution to the climate and nature crises, so it’s promising that there are plans to plant more of them,” Paul de Zylva, senior sustainability analyst at Friends of the Earth, told Positive News. “But it’s crucial that the right trees are planted in the right places.”

As well as sucking CO2 out of the air, trees help cool down cities, countering the so called ‘urban heat island’ effect.

A slew of reforestation commitments have been made in response to wildfires. President Joe Biden announced last week plans to plant 1bn trees across the US. In the wake of the devastating wildfires, President Macron has also promised to reforest large areas of France. 

Image: Max Van Den Oetelaar