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Transit and Trees

Rapid Transit Will Actually Help Save Trees

You may have heard news from Londoners upset with tree loss due to rapid transit and you may also be upset by this. Everyone at ReForest London loves and cares about trees and we would like to tell you why we support rapid transit even if it means losing some trees and seems to go against what we hold dear.

Tree loss anytime hurts. We have fought many times to protect trees and forests. But we live in a city and we have all seen cases where there is no choice but to remove trees in order to upgrade the infrastructure we rely on. The good news is that in the long run, rapid transit will save more trees than it removes. Great transit is a fundamental part of a sustainable city and there is no doubt that rapid transit offers a net environmental gain for London – not many construction projects can say that! Here’s how rapid transit is a win for the environment and for trees:

  • Besides more transit, rapid transit will bring improved air quality, lower greenhouse gas emissions, less urban sprawl and greater energy conservation.
  • Climate change is a critical threat to trees in London.Trees are already suffering from extreme heat and drought. It’s realistic that in 50 years our local climate will be too hot and dry for many local species to survive.Trees will die.
  • Across Canada, if we don't act, climate change will cause the loss of BILLIONS of trees to wildfires, drought and ecosystem disruption
  • In London, cars are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions (2x that from industry). We can’t tackle local emissions without including vehicle traffic. (Also, did you know that rapid transit is very likely going to be all electric? – reducing emissions even more!)
  • A fundamental benefit of rapid transit is its power to focus more of London’s development inward and upward. This reduces our urban sprawl, not only saving taxpayers money in the long run but it saves trees too. Sprawl has been responsible for the loss of over 230,000 trees in just a 10 year period. Reducing urban sprawl saves forests.

ReForest London is committed to doing its part to help grow our urban forest even in the face of some necessary losses. Thank you for your ongoing support of a greener, healthier and leafier city for everyone!