World Rainforest Movement

Genetically Engineered Trees: No Solution to Climate Change

Statement Condemns Proposed Use of Genetically Engineered Trees in Wrong-Headed Climate Mitigation Schemes

“Genetically engineered trees are not a climate solution. They are a dangerous distraction, and a threat to forests and communities that will worsen the climate crisis rather than fix it.”

As the devastating effects of climate change become more immediate and severe, corporate interests are promoting the use of unproven and potentially dangerous genetically engineered (GE) trees for climate mitigation schemes, including carbon offsetting and an emerging bioeconomy.

A statement released today by multiple non-governmental organizations warns of the ecological and social harm of using genetically engineering trees, in “false solution” climate mitigation schemes. Researchers, they point out, are working to transform the very composition of wood itself to facilitate production of bioplastics, biochemicals and cellulosic ethanol as well as to engineer trees for increased carbon storage. The groups explain that large-scale use of these GE trees could devastate forests, biodiversity and forest-dependent communities—and could even worsen climate change.

The statement, published by The Campaign to STOP GE Trees, is endorsed by an international coalition of environmental organizations which includes Biofuelwatch, Global Justice Ecology Project, World Rainforest Movement, GE Free New Zealand, Rural Coalition, RADA (Red de Accion por los Derechos Ambientales – Chile), ETC Group, Indigenous Environmental Network, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), Dogwood Alliance, ActionAid USA, and OLCA (Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales- Chile).

The statement is available at: https://stopgetrees.org/getrees-statement/

8 September 2021