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Trump creates federal government council on global tree planting initiative

Trump creates federal government council on global tree planting initiative
© Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll 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. 

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“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. 

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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 PerdueFederal judge strikes down Trump's cuts on food stamps for unemployed EU's 'farm to fork' demands could mean indigestion for US food exporters Baldwin calls for Senate hearing on CDC response to meatpacking plant coronavirus outbreak MORE, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Trump’s economic advisor Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE and and Deputy Chief of Staff Christopher LiddellChristopher Pell LiddellOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump creates federal council on global tree planting initiative | Green group pushes for answers on delayed climate report | Carbon dioxide emissions may not surpass 2019 levels until 2027: analysis Trump creates federal government council on global tree planting initiative MORE

Other council members are  presidential advisers Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpIvanka Trump raises million in a week for father's campaign Ivanka Trump declares position on abortion: 'I am pro-life, and unapologetically so' TikTok dancer who Ivanka Trump retweeted says she meant to mock Trump MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump says ex-staffer who penned 'Anonymous' op-ed should be 'prosecuted' Kushner told Woodward in April Trump was 'getting the country back from the doctors' What a Biden administration should look like MORE, and several cabinet members including Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUPDATED: Pompeo's son raised 'hackathon' event in email to State Department Pompeo: US citizens born in Jerusalem can now list Israel on passports The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states MORE, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDemocrats call Trump's COVID-19 response 'among the worst failures of leadership in American history' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump, Biden set for weekend swing state sprint Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' MORE, Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperCutting defense spending by 10 percent would debilitate America's military Overnight Defense: Trump campaign's use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings Trump campaign event use of Marine Corps helicopter raises ethics questions MORE, EPA Administrator Andrew WheelerAndrew WheelerOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior official called Black Lives Matter 'racist,' defended alleged Kenosha shooter | Trump signs bipartisan bill funding conservation grants  Overnight Energy: Interior ends endangered species protections for gray wolves | Top Interior official retaliated against whistleblower, watchdog says | EPA limits enforcement of pesticide application boundaries EPA limits enforcement of pesticide application boundaries 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.”