Council Motion: Double Local Tree Coverage

The Forestry Commission recommend that 20% of land in Britain should be covered by trees (and even urban areas should strive for this target). Doubling tree cover could draw 10% of carbon out of the air.

Below is a simple template council motion to make a local commitment to do this in your area.

Friends of the Earth have produced a document suggested what local actions Council’s can take to improve biodiversity and tree cover that can be found here. Tree cover statistics are also broken down by Local Authority area (for use in the motion) here.

Council Motion

Council recognises the vital role trees play in reducing carbon emissions – absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and locking it up in their trunks, branches and leaves. 

Council notes the recommendation from the Forestry Commission that 20% of land across all Local Authority areas should be covered by trees. Currently just XX% of land on [COUNCIL AREA] is covered by trees.

Friends of the Earth calculates that doubling tree cover across the UK could draw down 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – which is around 10% of current UK emissions. 

Council notes the commitments made by other Local Authorities to double the tree canopy cover in their areas and the enormous benefits to air quality, biodiversity and mental well-being that such initiatives will bring. 

Council therefore resolves to:

  • Set a target to double tree canopy cover within our Local Authority area by 2045.
  • Review the Council’s Estate Management Plan and the Local Plan to ensure that they include this target; and contain policies that will enable us to achieve it. 
  • Create a business case for doubling local tree cover and prepare bids to organisations such as NESTA to secure external funding to assist with the delivery of this programme. 

Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to request more funding for the Council to increase tree cover. 

Council further instructs the Portfolio Holder with responsibility for environmental issues to provide regular updates to Council about the progress being made to deliver this target, and refers the issue to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee to be regularly monitored as part of the Council’s scrutiny work programme.

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