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Republican congressman leads bipartisan bill with goal of planting one trillion trees globally

The global initiative could offset carbon emitted since the Industrial Revolution.

Updated: October 14, 2020 - 4:24pm

Arkansas GOP Rep. Bruce Westerman says a new bipartisan bill supported by President Trump and called the Trillion Trees Act aims to plant more trees and take care of the world's forests, something Republicans and Democrats are behind.

Westerman told “Just the News AM” on Wednesday that the bill, which he wrote, will not only encourage the use of more sustainable building materials like wood, but will also push to plant enough trees to offset the carbon emitted since the Industrial Revolution.

“This all started with a report that came out of Zurich that said that if we were to plant a trillion trees around the globe, that we could offset 205 gigatons, or two thirds of the manmade carbon emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution,” he told show host Carrie Sheffield. 

On a global perspective, there are about 3 trillion trees on earth today and 300 billion trees in the U.S. To reach the goal by 2050, the U.S. will need to plant a couple billion trees every year in the global initiative. 

The White House released an executive order on Tuesday establishing the U.S. ‘chapter’ of the global initiative. Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, are on the task force headed by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. 

“Republicans have a rich history in conservation. We're actually the founders of the conservation movement,” Westerman said. “If you look at the word, conservation is derived from the word conservative, and there's really nothing more conservative than participating in conservation.”