17.4 Cultural Transformation: Project Drawdown

Author: Madison Convey

ABSTRACT: Project Drawdown was developed with the goal to provide and accomplish, climate change solutions and eventually reach drawdown with the carbon emissions.

Image source: Decisive Climate Moments Call for Bold New Tactics

MAIN:

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist who dove into research about carbon emissions. He began his journey in 2013 and created Project Drawdown which is a model of the solutions that need to be occurring for the decrease in emissions. Carbon emissions are one of the rising causes for global warming, health effects, and are trapping heat within the atmosphere, contributing to air pollutants, all while it is rapidly putting humans at risk (Wang, Z, 2019). Project Drawdown is a nonprofit organization whose main goal is to help the world reach drawdown which is the future point where the GHG stops climbing and declines. They designed over 100 ongoing solutions to solve most of the climate change related problems; reducing sources that bring in emissions, supporting sinks and natural carbon cycle, and overall improving the current means of society.

Land use is one of the leading causes of climate change as cattle, rice fields, landfills, and agriculture all operate through releasing methane, which all contribute to warming the planet. There are many practices that humans can integrate in their businesses to be participate in the agriculture industry responsibly. Crop rotation, ecofriendly fertilizer, and improved plows are a few ways to reduce the damages on the land and preserve these natural crops. Agricultural carbon makes up for 24% of the emissions, reasoning why addressing and reducing GHG need to be a central solution put in place (Project Drawdown, 2021). In previous years strategies for crop production can be developed to reduce GHG emissions while maintaining the current crop yields (Wang, Z, 2019).

Carbon Sinks are “sinks” that are naturally made to absorb and store the carbon released; these can be plants, oceans and soil (Project Drawdown, 2021). It is one job for society to protect and support these natural sinks to keep the carbon levels at a healthy spot. Humans can contribute to natural based solutions by planting trees, rehabilitating or restoring damaged sinks. The GHG sinks are a process that is used for removal of carbon out of the atmosphere and into storage of natural locations. This way it is removing some heat and emissions to lower carbon rates; although these sinks need to be preserved and protected by humanity to remain as effective and have the most amount of storage for emissions.

Diagram 1 (Image credit: Ethic Invest, Leede Jones Gable)

Diagram 1 shows the solutions Project Drawdown has come up with, ranked by the potential emissions reduction. This is one way Project Drawdown promotes their solutions to show the important level to people. Project Drawdown is working towards reversing global warming by 2050, through the solutions they have provided. Also, Diagram 1 indicates the cost for these solutions and how much we as a society would save overall if these solutions were taken into account.

The next steps to this solution becomes focused on what society should be doing instead of the current means of climate change awareness. The problem of rising carbon is only an issue that will continue to grow and become more dangerous for everyday living.

There were no concrete solutions until Paul Hawken researched and provided them for the public view. Although these solutions and research have been conducted there is still one question that remains that is outside of Project Drawdowns control. When will companies and individuals begin to take this seriously and do their part?

RESOURCES:

Edwards, T. (2019, December 05). What is project drawdown? Retrieved March 21, 2021, from https://ethicinvest.ca/what-is-project-drawdown/

Paul Hawken. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2021, from https://paulhawken.com/

Project Drawdown. (2020, August 06). Solutions. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from https://drawdown.org/solutions

Wang, Z., Zhang, J., & Zhang, L. (2019). Reducing the carbon footprint per unit of economic benefit is a new method to accomplish low‐carbon agriculture. A case study: Adjustment of the planting structure in zhangbei county, china. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 99(11), 4889-4897. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.9714

Zhang, Y. (2011). The impact of financial development on carbon emissions: An empirical analysis in China. Energy Policy, 39(4), 2197-2203. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2011.02.026

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