Genetically Engineered Trees: No Solution to Climate Change

Árvores transgênicas não são solução para as mudanças climáticas

Árboles transgénicos: No son solución al cambio climático 

Les arbres génétiquement modifiés: ne sont pas une solution aux changements climatiques

(Global Justice Ecology Project co-created this statement with Biofuelwatch, World Rainforest Movement, GE Free New Zealand, Rural Coalition, RADA (Red de Acción por los Derechos Ambientales – Chile), and ETC Group)

Download the statement in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French

“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 concern about the climate crisis intensifies, so does rhetoric surrounding the role of forests, trees and carbon storage in climate mitigation. The science is clear that halting destruction of forests, which includes respecting the territorial rights of communities and peoples who depend on forests, is among the most effective, proven, and available means of removing carbon from the atmosphere, and that undisturbed forests with diverse species, rich intact soils and deadwood store far more carbon than industrial tree plantations.


Despite this established science, the tree biotechnology industry and its allies in academia are cynically capitalizing on the climate crisis to promote their genetically engineered (GE) trees as a climate “solution,” arguing their GE trees will sequester “more carbon.” Additionally, GE trees are being designed specifically to be cut on short rotations and to provide a rapid supply of wood for the purpose of maintaining business as usual, in the form of bioenergy, biochemicals and bioplastics, construction, alternatives to concrete, and many other purportedly “green” uses. 

Yet GE trees and the plantations–especially in the proposed locations–threaten forests, communities and health, as well as diverting resources from proven effective and equitable solutions. GE trees will not solve climate change but exacerbate it by interfering with efforts to protect and regenerate forests.

Not only have carbon markets and industrial tree plantations proven to be ineffective climate solutions, overblown hype about the potential for GE trees threatens to distract and divert investment and capacity from real solutions, while introducing new risks.

Full statement available for download in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French

Click here to stay connected to the effort to stop genetically engineered trees & oppose fake climate schemes that use GE trees and forests to maintain business as usual.

Statement Written by: The Campaign to STOP GE Trees

Statement Endorsed by:

Biofuelwatch, Global Justice Ecology Project, World Rainforest Movement, GE Free New Zealand, Rural Coalition, RADA (Red de Acción por los Derechos Ambientales), ETC Group, Indigenous Environmental Network, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, Dogwood Alliance, ActionAid USA, OLCA (Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales)

To get involved and stay connected to the Campaign to STOP GE Trees visit: