When you start to grasp the severity of the climate crisis, it’s easy sometimes to feel a little hopeless. But a new book called Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming presents a way forward to create a future that is perhaps greater than anyone has imagined was possible.
The project, led by activist and entrepreneur Paul Hawken, was started in 2013 and has since brought together over 65 researchers from across the globe with 128 experts in climate, sustainability, academia, and business. Together this group developed a unique global systems model, evaluating 80 technologies and practices from the ground up – from innovative energy and agricultural methods to enhanced environmental conservation and restoration.
The results shocked even the experts. Combined it was shown that these 80 solutions could eliminate 1 trillion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2050, enough to prevent the dangerous climate tipping point of 2 degrees Celsius. Moreover, these solutions would cost less than and produce more jobs that business as usual.
What is drawdown? It is the reversal of greenhouse gases that have built up in our atmosphere primarily from the burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas. Fortunately, major advancements have been made in the past decade to mitigate this problem.
All solutions presented in Drawdown are not just hypothetical. They are real, well-understood technologies and processes that can be scaled around the world. The breakthrough research required for the book has resulted in dozens of new scientific papers, and there are 20 more solutions coming that could create an even greater reduction in greenhouse gases.
Below are the top 10 solutions in order of greatest impact:
- Hi-tech Refrigeration
- Onshore Wind Power
- Reducing Food Waste
- Plant-rich diets
- Tropical Forest Protection
- Educating girls
- Family Planning
- Utility-scale Solar
- Rooftop Solar