WASHINGTON – This week, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) joined Congressmen Bruce Westerman (AR-04), Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Steve Stivers (OH-15), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Brian Mast (FL-18), Pete Stauber (MN-08), Greg Walden (OR-02), Roger Marshall (KS-01), Rob Wittman (VA-01), Tim Burchett (TN-02), and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) in holding a press conference on H.R. 5859, the Trillion Trees Act. This legislation, of which Joyce is an original cosponsor, was introduced on February 12, 2020.
“I was proud to join my friend and colleague Rep. Bruce Westerman in introducing the Trillion Trees Act, which will help our nation reverse the catastrophic effects of deforestation, prevent horrific wildfires, sustain critical resources and ecosystems, and reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere,” said Joyce “This bill will ensure we remain good stewards of the environment and will benefit our economy, and I urge the House to act quickly on it.”
“Trees are the ultimate carbon sequestration device,” Westerman said. “Every day, countless billions of plant cells are pulling carbon from the atmosphere and permanently storing it in wood. That’s why this legislation is so important. We’re taking proven science and turning it into practical solutions. Not only are we setting an ambitious goal of planting 1 trillion new trees by 2050, but we’re also reinvesting resources into managing forests and using wood products. Since wood continues storing carbon long after the tree is cut down and turned into furniture or building materials, there is no limit to how much carbon we can sequester. We have an obligation to conserve our resources and make them available to future generations, and I challenge anyone to find a better climate solution than taking care of our forests. I’m pleased to have so many of my colleagues joining me in this effort, and I look forward to moving this bill through the legislative process.”
The Trillion Trees Act is based on a July 2019 report featured by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science that concluded planting 1 trillion more trees across the world could sequester 205 gigatons of carbon. That’s roughly the equivalent of two-thirds of all manmade carbon since the Industrial Revolution. President Trump first announced that the U.S. would be joining the Trillion Trees Initiative in Davos, and then reiterated this pledge during the 2020 State of the Union address.
Specifically, the Trillion Trees Act aims to establish forest management, reforestation, and utilization practices which lead to the sequestration of greenhouse gasses. The bill has three different sections dedicated to achieving that goal:
Carbon sequestration through reforestation activities: Plant more trees in urban areas and on marginal agriculture land domestically while offering technical support and assistance for other countries to maximize forest growth internationally and reverse deforestation.
Carbon sequestration through improved forest management activities: Grow more wood in existing forests and make them more resilient to insects, diseases and catastrophic wildfires.
Market incentives for carbon sequestration: Store more carbon by incentivizing innovative building practices with a sustainable building tax credit, while offsetting some fossil fuel use by capturing the energy in renewable biomass fuel.