To mark the beginning of the COP21 climate talks that kicked off on Monday, the Eiffel Tower has been lit up with a vibrant virtual forest. The green digital trees will cover and “grow” over the tower during the week in a bid to raise awareness for the world’s forests. The project also hopes to raise enough funds to plant thousands of trees around the globe.
The brainchild of artist Naziha Mestaoui, the “1 Heart 1 Tree” initiative went live on Sunday evening, with the aim to connect the virtual world with the real one. Anyone around the planet can add a tree to the Eiffel Tower by buying a virtual one through the project’s app. This will then be projected onto the iconic landmark along with the person’s name, and will beat and grow in time with their heartbeat, making every tree as individual as each contributor. But rather than remaining in the digital world, each virtual tree purchased will be matched by a real tree planted in reforestation projects around the world.
A live feed of the Eiffel Tower covered in the pulsating forest can be seen on the project’s website, as it will be lit up every night from November 29 through to December 3. Mestaoui wants to get people not only informed about climate change, but to also become involved in solving it. And by encouraging people to pay for reforestation, people can contribute not just to carbon sequestration, but also to restoring water tables and biodiversity.
With over 190 countries meeting in Paris this week, which saw the largest gathering of world leaders in history, high hopes have been placed on reaching a global agreement to tackle climate change.
The tower was also lit with an image of the Sun, to highlight the need for more investment in renewables, such as solar.
The crunch talks are aiming to get all countries to agree on commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions
The tower will be covered with the virtual forest every evening for the next week.