Be Fearless: Felix Finkbeiner and Plant-for-the-Planet


– [Felix Finkbeiner] The climate crisis is such a huge challenge and we waited so long to do anything about it that only incredibly
radical change will allow us to prevent catastrophic climate change. So we urgently need big bets right now. (upbeat music) – [Jean Case] Felix Finkbeiner is only 22 year’s old but he has been urgently at work for over a decade. As a child he was inspired
by Nobel Prize winner, Wangari Maathai, who led an effort to plant 30 million trees. Felix followed with his own fearless idea that a million trees should be planted in each country to fight climate change. He challenged his classmates to help him. Soon, Plant for the Planet was born. – In my fourth grade
class I told my classmates that we should plant 1 million trees in each country of the world. After one year we had planted
about 50 thousand trees, after 3 years 1 million and
then more and more children and youth all across the
world starting joining us. – [Jean Case] It wasn’t long
before his fearless dream was realized and his big bet transformed into an even bigger one. He made the call for others to join him at the United Nations. – It is now time that we work together. We combine our forces, old
and young, rich and poor, and together we can
plant a trillion trees. We can start a trillion tree campaign. – My big bet is to convince the world to plant a trillion trees because without these trillion trees it’s almost impossible to
solve the climate crisis. Very simply, trees capture the CO2 that we emit. Trees are essentially machines, or even the only machines, we have that can capture the CO2 that we are emitting. And globally we have the potential to increase our forest cover by 30%. We currently have 3 trillion trees around the world and we can plant up to another 1 trillion trees. It would capture about a quarter of the global human-made carbon emissions. – [Jean Case] Plant for
the Planet has inspired 80 thousand climate-justice ambassadors and tens of thousands of youth to plant trees around the world. The group also has 150 employees working in Mexico planting a tree every 15 seconds. – [Felix] We set up our
Yucatan Restoration Project where we plant an average
2 million trees a year with a goal of planting
a total of 100 million trees across the Yucatan Peninsula. And our most recent and I
think most exciting project is the Plant for the Planet app. – [Jean Case] In the app, anyone can sign up to participate in the Trillion Tree Campaign, tracking the progress of every tree planted along the way. The group even makes
their own German chocolate bars to sell to support the effort. Profit from all Change
Chocolate goes directly to Plant for the Plant and has allowed for millions of trees to be planted. – As a 9-year-old I didn’t understand these reasons why these
things are impossible, why you can’t start a global movement to plant trees and because of that we just dared to start it. – [Jean Case] With the
help of people everywhere, Plant for the Planet has planted almost 14 billion trees in 193 countries. We hope Felix’s story has inspired you to go after your big bets, to inspire others to join
you and to be fearless. (upbeat music)

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