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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Project Drawdown® and what does it do?

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

Drawdown is the point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis. Project Drawdown has developed 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.

In the pursuit of sharing its findings widely, the organization has released the book Drawdown, the first of many projects to widely disseminate this information. Project Drawdown has created a broad coalition of leading climate voices who are helping to spread the message, and integrate the goal of drawdown into their own work. The organization has also created programs such as Drawdown Learn™ to equip educators and students with information about climate solutions that they can implement in their schools and communities. Project Drawdown will continue to update and expand the scope of its research, and publish and disseminate new content through online platforms, programs, and future publications.

 

2. How and where will these solutions be implemented? What is Project Drawdown doing to that end?

Project Drawdown’s role is not to implement these solutions, but rather to point to how they already are being implemented by humanity around the globe and the potential of these solutions if they are scaled over the next thirty years.

 

3. What is Drawdown Learn?

Drawdown Learn is a broad initiative to disseminate the rich learning opportunities of Project Drawdown's research and analysis of climate solutions. Through our communications and key partnerships, we are helping educators and students of all ages to understand the solutions available to address the climate crisis and create ways of teaching others about Drawdown solutions.

The 2018 Drawdown Learn Conference hosted by our partner Omega Institute brought together educators, curriculum developers, students, librarians, community groups, researchers, local officials, and other interested parties to share both experience and ideas about integrating Drawdown into teaching and learning. Find out more about the 2019 Drawdown Learn conference here.

The National Council for Science and the Environment, in collaboration with Drawdown Learn, is adapting Drawdown into curricula templates for use by faculty and administrators in higher education. This joint fellowship initiative will make Project Drawdown’s work even more accessible and enable its integration into more courses and classrooms.

The Drawdown EcoChallenge is a 21-day engagement program aimed at helping individuals learn about Drawdown solutions and contribute to reversing global warming through individual and team actions.

 

4. Why do you say Drawdown is the “most comprehensive plan”? Aren’t others also researching solutions to global warming?

We champion the fact that organizations and individuals around the world are doing extraordinary research on solutions to global warming and dedicating their lives to enacting them. We say ours is the “most comprehensive plan” because Project Drawdown is the first effort to measure and project the collective impact of a broad range of solutions if implemented at scale. Rather than focusing on a single solution or sector of solutions, Project Drawdown has done the math on what humanity is capable of achieving with the broad range of tools already in use around the globe.

 

5. How did you choose solutions to be on this list?

We evaluated well over 100 solutions, looking for the following criteria:

  • Is the solution currently available and scaling?
  • Is it economically viable? In other words, is there a business case?
  • Does it have the potential to reduce GHGs in the atmosphere, either through avoided emissions or sequestration, by at least 50 million tons of greenhouse gasses over 30 years.
  • Are there any negative results, such as pollution, reduced food security, land conversion, etc.? And if so, do the positive benefits outweigh the negatives?
  • Do we have sufficient data to be able to model these technologies at global scale?

Many proposed solutions did not make the initial cut. Those that did, underwent a full literature review and modeling by our research team. In some cases, after fully modeling proposed solutions, they were removed from the list because the data showed that our initial assessment was wrong. In the end, we arrived at 80 of the most substantive solutions in the book.

 

6. Why is carbon pricing not included?

Carbon pricing is a policy mechanism to implement solutions and not in itself a solution to global warming. It is the single most impactful policy proposal that would accelerate the adoption of every solution enlisted. Project Drawdown focuses on technological, ecological, and behavioral solutions. Our aim was to objectively analyze existing solutions for their potential to reduce and drawdown greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. We do not model incentive-based policies and financial mechanisms, such as carbon and congestion pricing, because they would be guesses, not models.

 

7. What is the role of the Drawdown Advisors?

Drawdown Advisors review our research, provide guidance on our work and strategy, and help disseminate the message of drawdown around the world. They are leaders in their fields, and have strong voices to share the work, along with the credentials to evaluate the quality of our work.

 

8. What can I do to help reach drawdown?

All solutions depend on individuals choosing to invest their time, energy, finances, and thought to reaching drawdown. Whether an individual home-owner deciding on installing a solar water heater, a commercial building owner weighing the costs and benefits of a green roof, an investor providing capital for wind power, a city planner justifying expanding public transportation options, or a farmer deciding how and what to plant this season – this book contains relevant solutions to all sectors of society.

The decisions we take at all levels of society impact our future on this planet. One pathway risks catastrophe, and the other embraces regeneration. Each individual decision can make a difference, whether that is a consumer or board member. And the benefits speak for themselves. Our analysis shows that costs of doing business-as-usual are higher than the costs to implement solutions to global warming. We encourage you to get involved locally and nationally with those who are already implementing the solutions, using Drawdown as a guide for how you want to be involved.

 

9. What is next for Project Drawdown?

Research Program
Phase 1: The data amassed so far represents the beginning of our work, not its culmination. To ensure our research remains meaningful and useful to current and future audiences, all data is continually monitored, refreshed, updated, and corrected where better data arises. Project Drawdown continues to incorporate new data into the models and regularly updates content, allowing us to better maintain progress towards drawdown.

Phase 2: We have established a rich database of solutions, modeling both financial and carbon impacts, which offer a “treasure trove” for general learning and practical applications. We now want to undertake research related directly to the goals of economic and ecological regeneration and make this research easily accessible to diverse audiences.

To learn more about our research programs, contact us at research@drawdown.org.

Web
Project Drawdown is working to expand its online presence to make all data and tools freely available. The website is a repository for information on solutions, and for engaging communities to take action to implement solutions in their locations. We are continuing to expand Drawdown Learn into schools and universities in order to increase climate literacy among young people.

Community Building
A key piece of our role is to communicate the goal of drawdown and the solutions widely, to demonstrate what is possible for our future. To do this, we are tapping into our broad coalition of advisors, and creating effective social, NGO, and community partnerships and engagement strategies to maximize the potential of Drawdown data.

 

10. How is Project Drawdown funded? How can I support the Project?

Project Drawdown is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, largely funded through donations from family foundations and individuals. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, we appreciate contributions of any size, which can be made on the donation page.

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