Project Drawdown

by Drawdown Solutions edited by O Society July 10, 2019

Eighty of the solutions in this book already exist and are scaling to become competitive alternatives to now dominant, high-emitting technologies. They are economically viable, proven to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon dioxide, and have the potential to spread throughout the world.

Our approach is to collect as much data from a variety of vetted, widely-cited sources as possible, using our models to assess different potential pathways for global adoption. Since no individual organization, model, or researcher can claim to accurately know the future, or how every technology or practice will perform in every corner of the world, we gathered a wide range projections from multiple sources. This approach allows us to generate reasonable, defensible guesses at how these solutions can grow and what their impacts could be.

Each solution is modeled based on a comparison between a reference case, assuming little change over the next thirty years, and three scenarios reflecting increasingly more accelerated global adoption.

Plausible Scenario: the case in which solutions on the Drawdown list are adopted at a realistically vigorous rate over the time period under investigation, adjusting for estimated economic and population growth.

Drawdown Scenario: the case in which the adoption of solutions is optimized to achieve drawdown by 2050.

Optimum Scenario: the case in which solutions achieve their maximum potential, fully replacing conventional technologies and practices within a limited, competitive market.

The data derived from models are then inputted into sector-level integration models to generate final results for all solutions within an in global system.

The objective of the solutions list is to be inclusive, presenting an extensive array of impactful measures already in existence. The list is comprised primarily of “no regrets” solutions—actions that make sense to take regardless of their climate impact since they have intrinsic benefits to communities and economies. These initiatives improve lives, create jobs, restore the environment, enhance security, generate resilience, and advance human health.

In our book Drawdowneach solution is measured and modeled to determine its carbon impact through the year 2050, the total and net cost to society, and the total lifetime savings (or cost). The exception to this are our “Coming Attraction” solutions, which are a window into what is still emerging. For these solutions, we did not measure cost, savings, or atmospheric impact, but we illuminate technologies and concepts whose growth we will continue to watch.

Solutions by Rank

1 Refrigerant Management Materials 89.74 N/A $-902.77
2 Wind Turbines (Onshore) Electricity Generation 84.60 $1,225.37 $7,425.00
3 Reduced Food Waste Food 70.53 N/A N/A
4 Plant-Rich Diet Food 66.11 N/A N/A
5 Tropical Forests Land Use 61.23 N/A N/A
6 Educating Girls Women and Girls 51.48 N/A N/A
7 Family Planning Women and Girls 51.48 N/A N/A
8 Solar Farms Electricity Generation 36.90 $-80.60 $5,023.84
9 Silvopasture Food 31.19 $41.59 $699.37
10 Rooftop Solar Electricity Generation 24.60 $453.14 $3,457.63

2 thoughts on “Project Drawdown

  1. It’s a good point, isn’t it?

    The founder of this program is 70+ years old.

    My guess is the green movement will necessarily come from the kids. After all, the old geezers had plenty of time in which to address this and they chose to step on the gas and make things worse instead.

    Problem is we can’t wait for the older generation to die off and the new ones to begin running things. Time is of the essence here.

    So I share your skepticism, Gwynn. As much as getting on board with any and every movement in the right direction seems appealing, it is unlikely the business people from the last century are authentic.

    What are we to do? I can’t very well advocate stuff such as shooting the president or kidnapping the CEO of Exxon. However, some sort of revolution must take place or we’ll all die.

    Quite the spot, isn’t it?


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