Project Drawdown: 100 Solutions for Climate Change and Sustainable Development
The Paris Climate Agreement aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Humans can achieve this goal by:
- Ceasing to produce greenhouse gases (e.g. from fossil fuels)
- Sequestering greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere (e.g. through regenerative agriculture)
Both will require a range of measures from all levels of government, industry and individuals, and in all aspects of society, from power generation to transportation, to buildings and urban planning, to agriculture and land use, to education, technology, and the way we do business. In order to truly be effective, these measures must be science based and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Drawdown: The solutions
Many of these measures already exist and are already being put to practice. Project Drawdown brought together a qualified and diverse group of researchers from around the world to identify, research and model the most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by reducing fossil fuel emissions and sequestering carbon out of the atmosphere. These range from bioplastics to artificial leafs to building automation, clean cookstoves, coastal wetlands, living buildings, cows walking on beaches, and many more.
Project Drawdown showcases 3 different scenarios with increasing levels of ambition: the Plausible scenario, with a greenhouse gas reduction of 1,051 gigatons; the Drawdown scenario, with a greenhouse gas reduction of 1,442 gigatons, and the Optimum scenario, with a greenhouse gas reduction of 1,612 gigatons, from 2020 to 2050. In scenario Drawdown, negative emissions or drawdown (point in time when greenhouse gases are removed from the atmosphere) are achieved in 2050; in the Optimum scenario, negative emissions are achieved by 2045. In both the Drawdown and Optimum scenarios, fossil fuels are phased out by 2050 and society is 100% powered by renewable energy (albeit in the case of the Drawdown scenario with biomass, landfill methane, nuclear and waste-to-energy, none in the case of the Optimum scenario).
Towards this end, another initiative, The Solutions Project, aims to accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy by championing a movement towards clean, renewable energy that is more inclusive, more collaborative, and more celebratory. Through storytelling, grant-making, and capacity building, the project honours clean energy leaders, invests in promising solutions, and builds relationships between unlikely allies to achieve 100% electrification by 100% renewables by 2050.
Solutions for all
Drawdown’s climate and sustainable development solutions are not proprietary; they are an open source public good, and essential to a transition to a green economy. Drawdown has brought these solutions together to form an ambitious plan to reverse global warming, including measurements and models of what emissions reductions can be achieved, at what cost, and with what savings for 80 of the solutions. The net savings are estimated to be $74 trillion for a net cost of $27 trillion over 30 years.
The Drawdown EcoChallenge is a fun and social way to learn about the 100 climate solutions featured in Drawdown and take action. From now until April 25, the Drawdown EcoChallenge invites individuals and teams around the world to take part in simple daily activities to reduce their carbon footprints and delve into the world’s most substantive solutions to global warming. At the end of the Challenge, the teams with the most points will win great prizes, including copies of Drawdown and a one-hour video session with Drawdrown Executive Director Paul Hawken.
Register for free and invite your community at drawdown.ecochallenge.org.
If you are in Geneva, Switzerland, on 24 April 2018 (2:15-3:45 PM CET), join the Centre for International Environmental Studies and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) for a panel discussion on decarbonising the economy and the potential of Drawdown’s 100 solutions to reverse climate change. More information on the event is available at: Drawdown - Can Global Warming be Reversed?
The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the GGKP or its Partners.