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In Western countries, forests are growing

Trees
Photo: Arterra / UIG via Getty Images

Due to unproductive farmland being abandoned and generous government subsidies, wealthy western nations such as the U.S., Australia, Ireland, Greece, Italy and Spain have seen their forests spread fairly rapidly over the past few years, while sub-Saharan Africa and South America struggle with deforestation, according to The Economist.

By the numbers: Over 28 years, Spain went from being 28% forested to 37%, while Greece and Italy grew from 26% to 32%. In Ireland, only 1% was forested in 1922, but now trees make up 11% of the country, which would like to see that number rise to 18% in the 2040s.