Forest

Your feedback can help store up to a ton of carbon

3 min read

08 Nov 2020

Text

Amos Ahola

Photo

123RF

3 min read

08 Nov 2020

Text:

Amos Ahola

Photo:

123RF

We’d love to hear your opinion about Twentyfour7. Insights – for each submission, we will plant one tree.

Reader survey

Why? you may ask.

First, Wärtsilä’s purpose is enabling sustainable societies with smart technology, and in many cases, nature can be considered the smartest technology. Second, we aim to improve everything we do, so all feedback is most appreciated.

Currently carbon capture and storage technologies are being developed around the world, but it remains to be seen if humanity can surpass what nature has already achieved with hundreds of millions of years of evolution, as trees are autonomous carbon capture and storage units powered by solar energy. Saplings capture around 5 kg of CO2 in a year, and adult trees around 20 kg. To offset the average annual carbon footprint of a world citizen (~5000 KG of CO2), around 250 trees are needed.

The price of planting one tree is around a dollar, and average adult tree stores up to a ton of carbon. Current industrial means store carbon at a price of a few hundred dollars per ton, so at least until now, nature has beaten engineering in terms of cost-effectiveness, but not in terms of speed. The other factor which could be counted as a downside of nature’s method is the usage of the land, but that is partially offset by the other benefits planting forests have – they increase biodiversity and reduce drought and flooding.

Naturally, carbon capture is not enough. Reducing emissions is also needed, and it is our bread and butter, in both the energy and marine sectors.

Reader survey