This week India planted more than 66 million trees in 12 hours, smashing their own record set just last year.
This latest green-feat was carried out on Sunday in Madhya Pradesh, a large state in central India. Between 7 am & 7 pm, floods of volunteers planted 6,630,000 tree saplings. Or, as they say in India, “6.63 crores,” as each crore denotes ten million units.
The previous record was set by India in 2016, when they planted 49.3 million tree saplings in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in 24 hours. The country’s newest feat is yet to be clarified by the Guinness World Records, but all being well, it looks like they should snatch the title.
India pledged to increase forest their cover to 95 million hectares (235 million acres) by 2030 at the Paris Climate Change Conference. The government is putting forward $6.2 billion for this effort and encouraging all of the country’s 29 states to get involved.
“#MPPlants6CroreTrees is effort in accordance with #ParisAccord. I am proud that Madhya Pradesh has been one of the first to initiate,” Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, tweeted on Sunday.
India did not have the best reputation when it comes to being green over the past decades. They currently are one of the world’s biggest producers carbon emissions (although granted, their population is over 1.3 billion).They also have a become closely associated with poor inner-city air quality, coal burning, lack of sewage treatment operations, and the burning of biomass fuel.
However, this old image of pollution and smog is starting to fade. As India continues its rise as a major world power, there’s been big pushes to bring their economy into the 21st century using investment in green energy and environmentalism, from a local level all the way up to Narendra Modi, India’s current prime minister.
“Modi knows climate change is good politics. Climate change makes sense to Modi because he believes it as it is good economics and politics,” Harsh Pant, a fellow at the New Delhi-based research organization Observer Research Foundation, recently told the New York Times in a story about their move away from coal burning towards renewable energy sources.