Planting a tree with the EU

Trees are important for our human environment: they provide shade from the hot sun in the Summer and break strong Winter winds. They are very useful in urban areas as they “steal” carbon dioxide from the air and store in their trunks, leaves and roots, releasing oxigen in change. Their foremost and most important service, though, is the contribution they give to our own well-being. A “green” urban environment, rich in trees and green areas large enough to be enjoyed by citizens, is a basic factor for a positive human psychological environment. The European Union, in an effort to enhance treeing in urban areas all across the EU, has launched a new initiative, “Click a Tree“.

In the run up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Copenhagen in December this year, the campaign aims to encourage young Europeans to take individual action against climate change. To get the campaign off the ground, Young Europeans can order and plant one of 5,000 free tree seedlings they receive from the website , or simply buy their own tree to plant and then register at the site.

To receive one of the initial 5,000 free seedlings participants must be between 15 and 29 years old and from one of the following countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, France, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden or the United Kingdom. They simply need to register on the website “Click a Tree“. Participants can of course also buy their own tree to plant, taking care to select one suited to their environment. As part of the campaign the European Commission is also running a competition – participants just need to take a photo of themselves planting their tree and upload it onto the campaign website. All participants can vote for their favourite photo/entry. Ten people, who get the most votes, will win a trip to an environmental learning camp.

Users can also find additional information on the website about where and how to plant a tree, the EU’s energy-climate change policy as well as important facts about the significance of trees for environmental protection.

The campaign has also developed two viral spots which will be distributed via popular network portals such as YouTube. Additionally one spot will be shown as a TV advertisement in four Eastern European Countries. A co-operation with the network portal MySpace will also ensure that young people are reached online.

Click a Tree” is part of a broader campaign to gain public support for the EU’s progressive climate change policies. This is in preparation for when decision makers from around the world meet in Copenhagen in December 2009 to agree on future global climate action and make far reaching commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By taking individual action by planting a tree and committing to other actions to reduce their own emissions, young Europeans will demonstrate their support for change.


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