Once too often, the media in its quest to highlight the enormous threat of global warming has resorted to an international version of Brexit’s project fear. So many articles and opinion pieces along with interviews with experts consistently tell us that our efforts are in vain, or that we need to move the proverbial mountain to stop the dangers of global warming. But what if there was a list of solutions that did not require a Holy Grail in new energy, or a quick fix technology that does not currently exist? Well, maybe the answer is Project Drawdown.

Project Drawdown is the brainchild of over 200 researchers, business leaders, scholars, and changemakers from across the globe, and it it’s primary goal is to implement  realistic, solution-specific models, technical assessments, and policy memos projecting the financial and climate impacts of existing solutions deployed at scale over the next thirty years that will enable the point in time when the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases begins to decline on a year-to-year basis.

The project is a nonprofit organisation and coalition of scholars, scientists, entrepreneurs, and advocates from across the globe that is mapping, measuring, modelling, and communicating about a collective array of substantive solutions to global warming, with the goal of reaching drawdown.

Drawdown has listed a comprehensive guide based on presenting an extensive array of impactful measures already in existence. While some solutions are not at all surprising such as electric vehicles, others are truly inspiring like equality for women or simply using more bamboo. What the project has revealed is that nothing new needs to be invented – we have the means but not the passion to do it.

Project Drawdown solutions chart (copyright Project Drawdown)Each solution is modelled 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 optimised 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 was then inputted into sector-level integration models to generate final results for all solutions within an in global system. 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.

A full list of the solutions are available here.

Currently Project Drawdown is primarily based the United States of America but it won’t be long before it starts to have a European presence. And while the project states that “it is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming”, without support and participation by the people, it is nothing more than words.

Indeed Europe is facing many crisis such as terrorism, unemployment and a rise in nationalism, but there is no doubt that all these issues pale into comparison when compared to the threat of global warming. And there is also clear evidence that our  many issues and problems will be amplified by the crisis of global warming so regardless of what happens, we must face the issues together as Europeans and citizens of the world. Climate change isn’t racist, political, discriminatory or vain – it targets and affects everyone and everything but Project Drawdown could be the template on which we can start to win the war against this at first slow but ever increasing threat to our planet.

Ken Sweeney
Committed to idea of supporting aspiring writers and journalists. Serial podcaster.

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