Letter: College trees will help the environment

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The Independent Online
Sir: We are delighted that the Linacre College residential accommodation which we designed is regarded by Nicholas Kurti ('How green is my Oxford college?, 22 August) as probably the greenest university building in Britain.

The point raised by Professor Kurti about absorption of carbon dioxide in rainforests demonstrates the need for further research in environmental accounting techniques. I agree that a fully developed rainforest does not absorb much more carbon dioxide than it produces. However, the 19 hectares of eucalyptus forest which is being dedicated to Linacre by a former student living in Tasmania is vigorously growing stock less than five years old.

The disparity in carbon dioxide fixation rates between eucalyptus and rainforest has been taken into account. I am also sure that a protected rainforest, fully developed or not, produces a net global benefit, compared with cutting it down and burning it.

Yours faithfully,


ECD Architects &

Energy Consultants

London, WC1

23 August