Comment on UK missing tree planting targets

ECIU's Matt Williams comments on the missed targets and why trees play a vital role in getting to net zero.

By Tricia Curmi

Last updated:

Commenting on the Government missing its own tree-planting targets [1] Matt Williams, Climate and Land Programme Lead at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), said:

"To achieve net zero tree planting and forestry should be a blossoming industry in the UK. But it's flatlining. At this rate, the Government will miss its own tree-planting and net zero targets.

“We know that trees play a vital role in everything from cooling down our towns and cities on hot days to having a home in fields alongside food production. And this doesn't have to mean the uniform swathes of pine plantations we saw in the 1980s, but can be mixed woodlands that benefit the climate and nature too.

“Planting more trees will help achieve net zero, and, according to the Institute of Chartered Foresters, could see 72% more jobs created in the forestry sector.”

Notes to editors:

  1. On 16 June 2022 the Government released provisional 2022 woodland statistics, showing that in 2021-22 13.8 thousand new hectares were planted, compared to 13.2 thousand in 2020-21. The Government’s target is for 30,000 hectares to be planted every year from 2024 onwards:

For more information:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153,