According to The Guardian (UK), Isabel Dedring, London’s environmental advisor believes average summer temperatures could be 3.9 degrees C higher by 2080. London’s increasing temperatures are viewed as part of the city’s urban heat island effect and the result of global warming. To combat the temperature rise, the mayor released an environment plan that aims to increase tree cover across London by 5 percent, or two million trees, by 2025. An additional 5 percent of tree cover will come from added green space in inner London, including green roofs, according to the The Guardian. The goal is to reach 10 percent more greenery, the amount a UK study contends is required to offset projected temperature increases.
Additionally, “trees in streets have a very positive air-quality effect,” noted Isabel Dedring, London’s environmental advisor.
The tree cover project is part of a broader plan,“Leading to a Greener London,” by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. The London plan outlines a range of CO2 mitigation and adaptation programs. London’s plan also follows the “UK Low Carbon Transition Plan,” released in mid-July 2009 by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and shares many of its recommendations. (see earlier post)
London’s efforts to plant more trees is far more ambitious than a number of urban tree canopy programs in other major cities. Some U.S. programs include:
- Green Miami: Increase tree cover to 30 percent by 2017.
- TreeBaltimore: Double tree cover from 20 percent to 40 percent within 30 years.
- Grow Boston Greener: 100,000 new trees by 2020.
- NYC’s PlaNYC: One million new trees by 2030.
- Million Trees L.A.: Target is one million new trees.