Yes it does encourage planting of trees in vacant lots. By planting trees, a company can offset some of their carbon emissions due to the inherent photosynthetic nature of trees. In cap and trade, a cap or ceiling is set on emissions. Each company is allowed to pollute their credited amount. In cap and trade, the planting of trees can offset carbon emissions thus giving the company which planted them more carbon credit. For example, if a company used to burn oil as their fuel source, they could plant trees in their lots for later fuel use. They could then burn those trees to make charcoal as a fuel source turning away from oil. Through this mechanism they are offsetting their carbon emissions in a way in the actual life of the trees themselves before they are burned. All of this is taken into consideration in cap and trade aka emissions trading.
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