It all started with a school presentation and today Plant-for-the-Planet is a global movement with an ambitious goal: to fight the climate crisis by planting trees around the world. Here you find out what has happened since the founding of the initiative and what we have planned for the future.
Inspired by Wangari Maathai, who planted 30 million trees in Africa in 30 years, Felix formulated his vision:
Children could plant one million trees in every country on earth and thereby offset CO2 emissions all on their own, while adults are still talking about doing it. Each tree binds a CO2 intake of 10 kg per year.
The first tree is planted and Klaus Töpfer, former German Federal Minister of the Environment and executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) becomes official patron.
Felix promises UNEP that children in every country on earth will plant one million trees. In the following years, Plant-for-the-Planet developed into a global movement.
He becomes a UNEP Junior Board Member and gives speeches at important environment and climate events, e.g. in front of the European Parliament.
Plant-for-the-Planet academies are organized in Germany and around the world. These are events organized by children for children at which they motivate each other to take action against the climate crisis. The children become active Climate Justice Ambassadors and pass on their knowledge and encourage other children to take on social responsibility and shape their future.
At UNEP's children and youth conference in South Korea, 800 children adopt a declaration for the climate summit in Copenhagen. At the end, Felix asks the audience who else will plant one million trees in their country. Within minutes, hundreds of children from 56 different nations come on stage to signal their support for the vision of Plant-for-the-Planet.
To make the initiative even more known, the campaign entitled "Stop talking. Start planting" commences. The photographs with famous supporters such as Harrison Ford, apl.de.ap, Prince Albert of Monaco and Michael Otto can be seen worldwide.
Together with the environment ministers from Germany, Denmark, Canada, Mexico and Turkey. The children convince the ministers of the need for a global contract based on climate justice.
At the beginning of the year, Felix is invited to the UN headquarters. He urges the delegates to fight against the climate crisis not by talking, but through concrete actions.
Felix calls the world to plant a Trillion Trees!
In November 2011, UNEP, the United Nations Environment Program, hands over the Billion Tree Campaign to the children of Plant-for-the-Planet. They now bear the responsibility for the World Tree Counter and have the official mandate to motivate all people to plant trees. A great honor - but also a great task!
Finally, Plant-for-the-Planet places its first tree on its own planting area on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, and makes a promise:
"We will take care of every tree we have planted and each year, plant one million trees more than the year before."
In September 2015, the renowned scientific journal Nature published a study that the children had initiated. Dr. Tom Crowther from Yale University had for the first time researched the number of trees growing in the world ("Mapping tree density at a global scale"). There are about 3 trillion! He also proved to the children that there is space for a further trillion trees that can be planted without competing with agriculture or settlements. The goal of the children is scientifically substantiated!
The children need help to plant a Trillion Trees! On March 9, 2018 30 representatives of companies, NROs, and VIPs like Prince Albert II of Monaco and Patricia Espinosa, General Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change UNFCCC, signed the Trillion Tree Declaration. Felix, Yugratna, Paulina and Sagar, Members of the Plant-for-the-Planet Global Board read out the declaration on the stage of the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo.
More than 70,000 of them are Ambassadors for Climate Justice. These are children between the age of 9-12, who pass on their knowledge at academies to other children, who train to become Ambassadors as well.
This way, Plant-for-the-Planet encourages as many children as possible to fight for their future.
Three trillion trees currently exist globally. A further one
trillion trees can be planted.
We want to inspire the world to do just that.
These trees could capture 25% of human made carbon
emissions every year.
If every single person, every company and every institution becomes climate neutral, we can save our future!
The German Advisory Council on Global Change has developed an approach to solve the climate crisis: an upper limit for the allowed CO2 emissions until 2050. This global budget per head is spread evenly across all countries.
This means that we must reduce our CO2 emissions to zero by 2050. The technology for a carbon-free future has existed already for quite some time. With today's technology, it is possible to cater for all our energy needs with renewable sources by 2050, without the use of nuclear power plants.
We, the children of Plant-for-the-Planet, are not climate researchers and do not know whether the sea level will raise by 0.2 or 2 meters by the end of the century. Three things we do know for certain:
Read more about our story in our book
published in many languages.