Trump creates federal government council on global tree planting initiative

Trump creates federal government council on global tree planting initiative
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President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul 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. 

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 PerdueSonny PerdueTrump and Biden should stop denigrating US elections The hero of Jan. 6 whose name must not be spoken With soaring demand for meat, it's time to fund animal-free protein research MORE, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Trump’s economic advisor Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE and and Deputy Chief of Staff Christopher LiddellChristopher Pell LiddellMeadows comes under growing Jan. 6 panel spotlight Jan. 6 panel demands Meadows testify Friday or risk contempt charge Subpoenas show Jan. 6 panel's focus on Trump's plans MORE

Other council members are  presidential advisers Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpAre the legal walls closing in on Donald Trump? WATCH: Weekend stories you might have missed Jan. 6 probe roils Cheney race in Wyoming MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerDonald Trump slams Jan. 6 panel after Ivanka Trump interview request: 'They'll go after children' Kushner investment firm raises more than B: report Trump: Netanyahu 'never wanted peace' with Palestinians MORE, and several cabinet members including Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion Pence to deliver keynote at fundraising banquet for South Carolina-based pregnancy center Russia suggests military deployments to Cuba, Venezuela an option MORE, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinConservatives are outraged that Sarah Bloom Raskin actually believes in capitalism Suspect in Khashoggi murder arrested The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to tackle omicron risks with new travel rules MORE, Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back Former defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Major Russia weapons test stokes tensions MORE, EPA Administrator Andrew WheelerAndrew WheelerOvernight Energy & Environment — 'Forever chemical' suits face time crunch Lawmaker asks ex-EPA chief why he couldn't convince Trump climate change is real Virginia exits multi-state coalition backing EPA in climate lawsuit 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.”