OVER 20 million trees are to be planted annually in Ireland over the next 20 years as part of plans to tackle climate change, it has been announced.

The Irish government had already promised to plant more trees as part of a climate action plan released in June, which aims to make the country carbon neutral by 2050, but did not specify the number of trees involved.

“The climate action plan commits to delivering an expansion of forestry planting and soil management to ensure that carbon abatement from land use is delivered over the period 2021 to 2030 and in the years beyond,” a Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment spokeswoman said.

“The plan sets out key actions to be taken by the Department of Agriculture.

“The target for new forestation is approximately 22 million trees per year. Over the next 20 years, the target is to plant 440 million.”

The tree target will be 70 per cent conifers and 30 per cent broadleaf trees.