Project Drawdown researches solutions to climate breakdown. (“Drawdown” is defined as the point at which the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere starts to decline.)
In a coordinated international effort, the project has so far reviewed OVER 100 SOLUTIONS. Most of them are operating somewhere, right now; a few are still in research. All of them have the potential to be scaled up into global solutions.
Of these, 76 have been analysed sufficiently to derive plausible scenarios for implementing them worldwide, and to estimate how much this would reduce atmospheric carbon levels.
A further twenty solutions are deemed to be “coming attractions”, not yet developed enough to produce plausible estimates, but potentially significant. Six more are not estimated in order to avoid double counting.
Reasons for realistic hope
The total of the estimated carbon reductions is more than we need to reach drawdown by 2050 – indeed half as much again.
The top three solutions alone, fully implemented, would get us over a third of the way to drawdown.
The top twelve solutions alone, fully implemented, would get us all the way to drawdown.
The remaining solutions can be seen (1) as means of progressing faster; (2) as going beyond drawdown to reverse what we have done; and (3) as an insurance against problems and delays.
Over and above their climate value, five of those top twelve solutions (and quite a lot of the others) also offer many economic and other benefits, recovering their cost several times over.
Humanity seems unable to roll up its collective sleeves and get on with the job.
Project Drawdown is a medicine for this. It shows that fixing climate breakdown is feasible. It shows us the priorities. It gives us targets to plan and measure progress. It shows where solutions are likely to give economic and other benefits. These all add to motivation.
Tell everyone about this.
Translate to local solutions
Solutions are often described in global, abstract and scientific terms which seem distant from our personal lives. This makes them seem beyond our ability to influence or even understand, which demotivates us.
This problem is for us to solve, not Project Drawdown. We need to translate climate solutions into things which speak to our personal and local circumstances, interests and priorities.
For example, when solutions talk of forests and agriculture, city people might translate them into volunteering to protect trees; into improvements to green spaces, urban horticulture and gardening; into support for tree planting and regenerative agriculture in their surrounding region; into campaigning for better farm policies, and so on.
The key is to find aspects of a solution to which we relate: most global problems have regional and local groups and individuals working on some aspect of them. Don’t be too hasty to rule any solution out. First investigate what is going on where you live.