In advance of COP26 conference delegates agreeing to reverse deforestation, Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Howard Sykes MBE has written to the Chief Executive and Leader of Oldham Council suggesting this borough do its bit by asking residents to make a voluntary payment to offset their own carbon footprint to use to plant more trees.
Schemes to create so-called carbon offset woodlands already exist. These allow individuals who wish to make a payment to offset the carbon emissions that their actions generate, particularly where those generated by airline flights. This usually pays for more tree planting.
Councillor Sykes said: “Trees absorb carbon and planting more trees means more carbon absorbed. More people are now choosing to make a small voluntary payment to offset the adverse impact of their actions on our environment, particularly when they fly. If we can generate such an income from our residents and pay this into a dedicated fund to buy more trees then slowly, and steadily, our borough will not only become greener, but also carbon-neutral.”
Councillor Sykes also believes that new woodlands represent a win-win situation for communities.
He added: “Tree planting is an activity that can bring communities together, and if the tree planting is done on land that is gifted to and managed by communities those communities can actually generate an income for their use by selling the carbon emissions that the trees absorb to the Government through the Woodland Carbon Guarantee.”