Of course, the EU doesn’t stop us planting trees

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 20.11.2019

Claim: Leaving the EU “will allow us to meet… tree-planting targets which will ensure that we deal with the climate crisis that we face.”

Michael Gove, BBC, Nov 16.

InFact: The government had a target of planting 5,000 hectares of trees in England in the year to end-March, but only managed to plant 1,420 hectares. But it’s Westminster, not Brussels, that is to blame for missing the target.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) provides funds which can be used to create forests, but it is “up to Member States to select which forestry measures to implement, and to decide on the financing to be provided for them”.

In the 2014-2020 funding round, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland used EU funding for “agroforestry” (farmers planting trees). But England didn’t. It’s not surprising it missed its target so badly. Nor that Scotland managed to plant eight times as many trees.

We don’t need to quit the EU to plant trees and fight the climate crisis. Our government just needs to use the money that’s available.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

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3 Responses to “Of course, the EU doesn’t stop us planting trees”

  • Sadly Leave voters totally pick the wrong targets when they accuse Remainers of treating them with contempt and doubting their intelligence. Given this is yet another brazen lie from Gove, it is leading Brexiters who think so little of their supporters that they come up with such mistruths over the past three and a half years.

  • I’m surprised Brexiter’s aren’t claiming that Europeans kill and eat their children. Such obscene lies were perpetrated against “the Hun” to justify the First World War. We have degenerated back to this mindset, egged on by the red top tabloids.