An environmental group has criticised a plan to plant a rooftop forest on the European Commission’s newly-refurbished Berlaymont HQ.

Forests and the European Union Resource Network (FERN) says it learnt about the plan through a leaked document. The idea, which involves genetically-modified fast-growing pine species to reduce building stress, is apparently designed to help the HQ act as a carbon sink to improve environmental performance.

FERN called the initiative “ludicrous” and says the EC should not be fooled into thinking carbon sinks are an environmentally-useful option.

Jutta Kill, FERN’s climate change campaigner, said: “Carbon sinks are nothing more than a smokescreen to pretend the EC is serious about halting climate change when, in reality, every carbon credit will justify yet more carbon releases from fossil fuel – the very cause of global warming.”