The most impactful climate solutions (Drawdown)

What are the most important things -- or the most practical, or the highest impact -- that we can do to prevent catastrophic climate change?

It turns out that many have little or nothing to do with renewable energy, high tech and massive infrastructure projects.

The single most impactful solution? Around the world, educate girls and give them access to family planning.

This is one of the strongest messages in the impressive new book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. Non-technological solutions have to be front and center in the climate change conversation. They are just as important, and perhaps MORE important through their innumerable social side benefits beyond just GHG reductions. 

Instigated and edited by Paul Hawken, the Drawdown team summarizes and compares 100 different solutions to tackling climate change. The solutions are ranked in terms of CO2-equivalent emissions reductions, alongside cost and savings estimates. 

Check out these Top 10 Solutions.  Which do you find surprising?

  1. Refrigerant (HFC) Emissions Management
  2. Wind Turbines (Onshore)
  3. Reduced Food Waste
  4. Plant-Rich Diet (Less Meat)
  5. Tropical Forests
  6. Educating Girls
  7. Family Planning
  8. Solar Farms
  9. Silvopasture
  10. Rooftop Solar



Mike Stanley's picture

We need to rapidly de

We need to rapidly de-carbonize our transportation systems. Electric cars are the solution that is the conventional wisdom, but they are low capacity, high cost, and unsafe.

Transit X is working on a solar-powered, featherweight pod system that has the cost, capacity, and convenience to replace cars, buses, trains, and trucks.

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Curt Newton's picture

On the subject of personal

On the subject of personal and systemic social changes intersecting with climate action, just remembered this article from a couple months back. Well-reasoned, compelling.

Martin Boucher and Philip Loring. "Climate Change is More Than a Tech Problem. So We Need More than a Tech Solution." Ensia, March 20, 2017.


... Many of today’s most widely debated solutions to climate change fall into a category that emphasizes technological optimism and top-down, engineered solutions. The strategies we highlight here largely fall into another category: solutions that emphasize place-based, social and behavioral innovations. We are not arguing against technology reform. We are arguing that climate change is not, fundamentally, a technological problem....

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Curt Newton's picture

Yes Sobha and Mark, there are

Yes Sobha and Mark, there are some powerful and specific ways we can unite and work together among these Drawdown solutions.

Personally I'm really interested in how to harness some climate energy toward these Educate Girls and Family Planning solutions, as there are so many groups doing great work in these areas. How could we partner and support them?

Are there particular solutions on the Drawdown list that grab your attention and imagination?

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