New York, USA, 27 August 2020 – Today, 26 forward-looking companies, cities and
organizations across the United States announced they will help combat extreme heat and
wildfires – as well as other adverse effects of climate change – by conserving, restoring and
growing more than 855 million trees. Healthy forests are a critical nature-based solution for
the climate crisis and these pledges mark the launch of the U.S. chapter of 1t.org, the global
trillion trees movement.
The U.S. is home to the first regional chapter of 1t.org. Pledges demonstrate an advancement
of conservation, restoration and reforestation goals within the U.S. and internationally, a
significant effort and achievement toward the trillion trees goal. Trees pledged will cover 2.8
American Forest Foundation, Arbor Day Foundation, Bank of America, Mastercard,
Microsoft, National Association of State Foresters, National Forest Foundation, Salesforce,
and the cities of Detroit and Dallas are among those who have committed to invest in creating
The World Economic Forum and American Forests are leading the initiative and will provide
individuals and organizations in the U.S. with the tools and technical assistance they need to
create and bring their pledges to life. As independent and non-partisan institutions, they are
supported by the 1t.org U.S. Stakeholder Council, a bipartisan group of senior-level
representatives from government, business, civil society and academia who are informing the
strategic direction of the initiative.
Healthy and resilient forests are a key part of efforts to combat the negative impacts of
climate change. Studies have shown trees can reduce temperatures by 9 degrees and energy
costs by $7.8 billion a year. The chance of extreme wildfires occurring also decreases
dramatically when forests are managed properly by, for example, planting specially-selected
tree species in burned areas and using novel planting techniques for resilience to future
Investing in forests will also help improve the economy and public health. In the U.S. alone,
every $1 million invested in tree planting and other forest restoration activities creates almost
40 jobs. Globally, sustainable management of forests would create $230 billion in business
opportunities and 16 million jobs worldwide by 2030. From a health perspective, trees absorb
17.4 million tons of air pollutants a year, helping to prevent 670,000 cases of asthma and
other acute respiratory symptoms annually.
“The 1t.org U.S. Chapter launches at a perfect time,” said Jad Daley, President & CEO of
American Forests. “It unites the diverse organizations and people working for trillion trees
so that we can do more, and do it better, by working together. And it aligns with the trillion
trees movement quickly building in the US, including bi-partisan Congressional support for
historic forest conservation legislation and bold new commitments from corporations and
NGOs to help address carbon emissions with reforestation.”
“We have seen enormous energy and enthusiasm to conserve and restore our forests,” said
Justin Adams, Director of Nature Based Solutions, World Economic Forum. “A nature-
positive recovery is crucial to a great reset of our society and economy. Putting trees at the
heart of this reset will help ensure it is sustainable for us and future generations.”
In America, forests and forest products currently capture 15% of the nation’s carbon dioxide
emissions from burning fossil fuels. Conserving, restoring, and growing trees can enable US
forests to capture nearly double the emissions.
The World Economic Forum launched 1t.org at the Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos,
Switzerland. It is designed to support the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030
whose goals are to accelerate global restoration of degraded ecosystems, to fight the climate
crisis, enhance food security, provide clean water and protect biodiversity on the planet.
American Forests is the first national non-profit conservation organization created in the U.S.
Since its founding in 1875, the organization has been the pathfinders for the forest
conservation movement. Its mission is to create healthy and resilient forests, from cities to
wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife. The
organization advances its mission through forestry innovation, place-based partnerships to
plant and restore forests, and movement building.
1t.org uses UpLink, a digital platform to crowdsource innovations and accelerate the delivery
of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. The UpLink Trillion Trees Challenge was
launched on the platform on July 1, 2020, and called for solutions, initiatives, fresh
perspectives and ideas. Winning submissions will be invited to present at the World
Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2020 in September.
For video statements and quotes from the pledging entities, as well as b-roll footage, go to