Trudeau Liberals only 29 million trees into 2 billion commitment

In 2020, the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau announced a plan to plant 2 billion trees across Canada by 2030.

The first tree was planted in 2021, but in the years since, only 29 million saplings have been lowered into the dirt.

According to Natural Resources Canada, the first year’s total reached 97 percent of the government’s goal of 30 million, however the number of trees planted is set to increase in the years ahead.

“Going forward, the Government of Canada is entering into longer-term agreements to secure planting over 10 years,” NRCan said. “By 2026, the program aims to plant 250–350 million trees annually, with each planting project undergoing the same expert panel review process as this year’s projects.”

NRCan explained that planting 2 billion trees will “help Canada meet its climate goals and will lower emissions by up to 12 megatonnes annually by 2050 by removing carbon from the atmosphere.”

As CTV News reports, Trudeau and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault were joined by environmental activist and primatologist Jane Goodall in Sudbury on Thursday, where they praised the program.

At 548,000 trees per day, it’s a lofty goal, but one that supporters say is doable and worthwhile.

Critics, however, point to the cost of the project, which currently sits at $3.2 billion. In 2021, the Parliamentary Budget Office announced that the actual cost could rise by another $2.78 billion.

Unlike other goals, which can be chipped away at year-round, tree planting is seasonal, and as such, the government and its contractors only have a few months per annum to get the job done.

Canada already has nearly 318 billion trees, with 40 percent of the country being covered in forests.

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