JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., plans to chop down 150 large shade trees from a pair of office parking lots off International Parkway in Seminole County to make way for more than a dozen solar panel canopies.
The solar panels eventually would feed electrical power to JPMorgan’s two three-story office buildings as part of a two-year plan calling for the banking giant’s buildings in more than 60 countries to be completely dependent on renewable energy.
But the initiative sets up the quandary of whether axing trees, which clean out carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air, to install a clean energy source such as solar panels, is an improvement from an environmental standpoint.
“It’s case by case,” said Will Liner, urban forestry program manager with the Florida Forest Service, speaking broadly about the issue of solar panels versus trees and not specifically addressing JPMorgan’s proposal. “Solar panels are a very positive thing because you are getting electricity from a renewable source of energy….But what you don’t get from solar panels are the human health benefits of trees.” [click for full article]