More than 66 million trees were planted in just 12 hours by 1.5 million volunteers in India. This environmental campaign will beat the Guinness World Record held by India when 49.3 million trees were planted last year in 24 hours. Saplings were placed along the Narmada river in the state of Madhya Pradesh this past Sunday, July 2nd. Having the trees planted along the river allows for a constant water supply and increases the likelihood that most of the trees reach adulthood and survive. More than 20 different species of trees were planted. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the state’s chief minister described the efforts as a “historic day” and said “by planting trees we are not only serving Madhya Pradesh but the world at large.”
Under the Paris Agreement, India pledged $6.2 billion to reforest 235 million acres (95 million hectares) of the country by 2030 to combat the impacts of climate change. India is one of the biggest producers of carbon emissions in the world and is known for its infamous smog and public health problems. Despite India’s infamous environmental reputation, it has taken steps to curb the use of coal and promote renewable energy. India’s coal fired plants are running below 60% capacity and evidence suggests that there will be no need of additional plants in the future. The nation has been investing millions into environmentalism and green energy at a local and national level.
Other Indian states are taking similar initiatives towards reforestation. Kerela planted more than 10 million trees this past June in 24 hours and Maharashtra is planning to plant 40 million trees this year as part of a reforestation campaign. Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed India’s commitment to the Paris agreement and said “the protection of the environment and the mother planet is an article of faith.”