June 22, 2022

Key takeaways from Drawdown Lift’s Climate–Poverty Connections webinar series

by Carissa Patrone Maikuri

insights-drawdown-lift-webinars-2022.jpg

Flickr / Alliance of Biodiversity International and CIAT

Drawdown Lift recently hosted a two-part webinar series in which 10 global experts explored how technologies and practices that mitigate climate change can contribute to boosting human well-being and alleviating poverty as evidenced in the Climate–Poverty Connections report. Check out these key takeaways:​​​

  • 28 of Project Drawdown’s currently available, financially viable climate solutions not only have proven potential to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but also provide clear co-benefits for human well-being for rural and underserved communities in Africa and South Asia. 
  • This means we have a remarkable opportunity to align strategies, funding, and policies to simultaneously reduce climate threats, alleviate poverty, and boost human well-being. 
  • Investments in low-carbon development must prioritize countries that are first and worst impacted by climate change—particularly low- and middle-income countries. 
  • Human well-being co-benefits from the 28 Project Drawdown climate solutions are particularly strong in the dimensions of Income and Work, Health, Food, Education, Gender Equality, and Energy. 
  • World Bank economists estimate that Improving Agriculture and Agroforestry is 11 times more effective at reducing extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa than investments in other sectors. 
  • Providing Clean Electricity is crucial to improving human well-being: People who live in communities with limited access to electricity also tend to experience high food insecurity, lack access to improved water and sanitation, lack access to income and work, and endure disproportionate health burdens. 
  • Adopting Clean Cooking could prevent more than 22.5 million premature deaths between 2000 and 2100. 
  • Women’s and Indigenous peoples’ secure land tenure are imperative when Protecting and Restoring Ecosystems; more than 1 billion people experiencing extreme poverty depend on forests to meet their basic needs for housing, water, and fuel, as well as their primary source of income.   
  • Fostering Equality, which includes Project Drawdown’s Family Planning and Education solution, encompasses rights-based, voluntary family planning and high-quality education, yields co-benefits for all 12 dimensions in the Drawdown Lift Human Well-being Index, more than any of the other five climate solutions groups analyzed in Drawdown Lift’s new Climate–Poverty Connections report.
  • Family planning—ensuring everyone’s contraceptive needs are met in a way that centers rights and bodily autonomy—is not in itself a climate mitigation strategy. Rather, one outcome of family planning, slower population growth, is a climate solution.

 

 

In part one of the webinar series, global experts in climate-smart development, environmental health, clean energy, and natural resource management discussed how climate solutions focused on Improving Agriculture and Agroforestry, Providing Clean Electricity, and Adopting Clean Cooking can contribute to improving human well-being and alleviating poverty and yield substantial socioeconomic, health, equity, and environmental gains.

Presenter: Yusuf Jameel, Research Manager, Drawdown Lift, Project Drawdown 

Moderator: Yolande Wright, Global Director Child Poverty, Climate and Urban, Save the Children

Host: Kristen P. Patterson, Director, Drawdown Lift, Project Drawdown 

Panelists:

Jill Baumgartner, Associate Professor, Institute for Health And Social Policy & Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University 

Ademola Braimoh, Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist, Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank 

Glory Oguegbu, Founder & CEO, Renewable Energy Technology Training Institute (RETTI) and Climate Smart Nigeria

Interpreters: Sabrine Bayar and Manel Khammouma

 

 

In part two of the webinar series, global experts in cross-sectoral conservation and health initiatives, climate adaptation, girls’ education, and environmental conservation spoke to how climate solutions that Protect and Restore Ecosystems and Foster Equality can contribute to positive socioeconomic, health, equity, and environmental outcomes.

Presenter: Kristen P. Patterson, Director, Drawdown Lift, Project Drawdown 

Moderator: Cheryl Margoluis, Executive Director, CARE-WWF Alliance   

Host:  Carissa Patrone Maikuri, Program Coordinator, Drawdown Lift, Project Drawdown

Panelists:

Tapas Ranjan Chakraborty, Senior Programme Manager-Climate Change Programme, BRAC- Bangladesh 

Portia Kuffuor, Enterprise Development Manager, CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education) 

Alice Macharia, Vice-President of Africa Programs, the Jane Goodall Institute  

Interpreters: Sabrine Bayar and Manel Khammouma

More than one-fourth of Project Drawdown’s 93 climate solutions have proven human well-being co-benefits that are particularly relevant for rural under-resourced regions in Africa and South Asia.

Your Turn

Eight things you can do to boost the well-being of people and our planet together today:

  1. Integrate one or more of the 28 climate solutions that address well-being into new areas of your current work
  2. Find a new partner to work with to identify and carry out activities that simultaneously advance solutions that contribute to mitigating climate change and alleviating poverty
  3. Include human well-being programs and indicators when developing climate projects
  4. Bring ideas to donors that include these integrated, innovative ideas on climate and poverty solutions
  5. Support knowledge sharing and exchanges so we can accelerate our learning
  6. Share the video links above with a colleague or friend
  7. Download, read, and share the Climate–Poverty Connections report or fact sheet
  8. Sign up for the Project Drawdown newsletter here.

Helpful Links

More Insights

September 19, 2022
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It’s time to advance climate change solutions and human well-being together
by Debbie Aung Din, Christina Kwauk, and Abiba Longwe
In the 50 years since the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment established the important link between the environment and poverty, we have seen remarkable action to protect the planet and improve people’s lives. Unfortunately, these efforts have often taken place independently of each other. Imagine how much more good we could do if the solutions being funded yielded benefits for both climate action and poverty alleviation, while boosting human well-being. Globally, public and private financing tend to focus on either climate action or improving human well-being—defined as people’s ability to access fundamental social, cultural, economic and natural/environmental resources critical for sustaining a decent living standard and living a life they value. However, addressing climate change without attention to human well-being threatens to cut back on years of development progress because of the impacts climate change has on human well-being. Those of us working to advance sustainable development are witnessing firsthand how rising temperatures, drought, flooding and extreme weather are rapidly rewinding hard-won progress in poverty eradication, human development and gender equality. For instance, heat waves and dry spells in Bangladesh are threatening natural resource–based rural livelihoods and creating economic insecurity, which can contribute to increased rates of child, early, and forced marriage and unions, speeding girls’ transitions to adulthood and ending their formal education. And In Malawi, where most people experience poverty and nearly one-third experience extreme poverty, climate change has exacerbated poverty, particularly for women, in recent decades as increasing temperatures and intense rain lead to both drought and flooding. Combined, these have resulted in shorter growing seasons, poor crop yields, food shortages, hunger and the spread of waterborne diseases. In addition, increasingly devastating seasonal flash floods disrupt learning for students as classrooms are used as shelters for displaced people. And intensified climate hazards often exacerbate child labor, especially for children from under-resourced families. We know that there are many readily available and financially viable technologies and practices that offer proven, substantial benefits not only for climate but also for livelihoods, health, food security, education, gender equality, and energy. Funders, philanthropies and decision-makers can help to ensure a brighter future for people and the planet by directing more financing to fund climate solutions that can also be transformational in alleviating poverty and increasing resilience, especially in frontline, climate-vulnerable countries and communities that have contributed the least to the climate crisis while being impacted the most. For example, improving agriculture and agroforestry could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by a hefty 277.6 gigatons between 2020 and 2050. At the same time, it could improve food security and access to water and strengthen resilience to economic shocks. Similarly, fostering equality—specifically, rights-based, voluntary family planning and 12 years of high-quality, universal education—enables women to have more time, skills, and other resources to participate in climate solutions and to engage in productive, income-generating work, including in the green economy. Climate solutions that foster equality can advance human well-being in areas such as maternal and child health, nutrition, gender equality, and resilience. Estimates show that one outcome of fostering equality, slower population growth, could lead to a reduction of almost 70 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions at a global level between 2020 and 2050. Climate financing needs to reflect the reality that climate change, poverty, and human well-being are interconnected by taking a systems approach and focusing on synergistic solutions. For example, support for the world’s 500 million smallholder farm families at the epicenter of poverty and climate change that makes soils, lands, trees, and water more productive could boost income and simultaneously sequester carbon. As practitioners who work to enhance human well-being, we see a growing nexus among climate mitigation, climate adaptation, and poverty reduction. We can make much more progress by investing in climate change solutions that do double duty as strategies for improving human well-being. And donors and innovative finance structures can better meet the needs of people in countries most impacted by the climate crisis by supporting low-carbon pathways to development that also boost human well-being. Debbie Aung Din. Christina Kwauk, and Abiba Longwe are members of the Drawdown Lift Advisory Council.
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Askov Finlayson, Etsy and Lyft join Drawdown Labs’ groundbreaking climate solutions consortium
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