Topic: Drawdown

Drawdown (origin: Paul Hawken)

Drawdown describes the goal of reversing global warming and “the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. This is the point when we begin the process of stopping further climate change and averting potentially catastrophic warming. It is a critical turning point for life on Earth” (Drawdown framework). Defined as a future goal, Drawdown began in 2001 when American environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author Paul Hawken began asking experts the same question: what do we need to do to arrest and reverse global warming? Collecting responses from multiple fields, in 2013 Hawken launched an interdisciplinary Project Drawdown. Its goal was to “identify, measure, and model one hundred substantive solutions to determine how much we could accomplish within three decades toward that end” (Drawdown x). 2017 saw the first edition of Drawdown: the Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming (Penguin Books), edited by Hawken. Since then, solutions have been added, their importance reevaluated, and the project has been updated based on most recent research. For example, in 2017 the #1 problem whose solving would reduce the greatest amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (89.74 Gigatons) was the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in refrigerants (Drawdown 164). By 2021, the #1 challenge is reducing global food waste (equivalent to eliminating 87.45 Gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere). Refrigerant management is now the 4th key challenge (at 57.75 Gigatons), preceded by the need for girls’ education and family planning (at 85.42 Gigatons) and a transition to plant-rich diets (65.01 Gigatons). For Project Drawdown’s latest analysis and insights, check The Drawdown Review. ©2021 ClimateLit (Marek Oziewicz)

Related terms: global warmingclimate literacyclimate justicesolutions

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