Nature and Biodiversity

The first-ever climate telethon has raised $2.6 million for new forests

An aerial view shows a deciduous forest on a sunny autumn day in Recklinghausen, Germany, October 31, 2015.   REUTERS/Ina Fassbender - GF20000040187

Image: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

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Danish people have donated $2.6 million in what's been called the world’s first climate telethon.

Broadcast from the middle of a forest, Denmark Plants Trees featured live music, comedy, and a plea to help create new woodland across the country.

The money will be used to finance planting events throughout the autumn, with 20% of the funds going towards the preservation of existing forests in Denmark and other countries.


Denmark’s national forest programme aims to have 25% of the country forested within the next 100 years, and forested areas have been increasing steadily. The Growing Trees Network has overseen the planting of nearly 200,000 trees since 2012, through community initiatives and business partnerships.

The areas of Denmark covered by forest have been steadily increasing since 2010.
Image: Statista

It’s not just Denmark that’s growing greener. As part of a commitment under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, India has pledged to absorb the equivalent of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 through additional forest and tree cover by 2030. In 2017, the country set a world record for number of trees planted in a single day: 50 million.


Two years later, Ethiopia said it had smashed that record by planting more than 350 million seedlings in a day, as part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Green Legacy initiative to encourage biodiversity, support sustainable agriculture and mitigate climate change.

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In Britain, the National Forest spans 200 square miles of an area once home to coal mining and heavy industry. Since the community-led project began in 1990, 8.9 million trees have been planted – bringing wildlife back to what were once open mines.

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In Britain, the 8.9 million trees planted as part of the National Forest initiative have transformed what was once an industrial landscape.
Image: Elliott Brown
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What’s the World Economic Forum doing about deforestation?

Because forests absorb carbon dioxide, planting trees is seen as a key way to counter climate change.


Recent research suggests that a global increase of 500 billion trees could lead to a 25% reduction in atmospheric carbon.

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