Profile | April 3, 2023
Drawdown Science Profile: Kate Marvel
This article is the fourth in a series introducing the members of Project Drawdown’s new science team. Kate Marvel is a climate scientist who focuses on modeling how our planet is changing and understanding what could happen in the future. Before joining Project Drawdown, Kate worked at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Columbia University, Stanford University, the Carnegie Institution, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. A former cosmologist, she received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cambridge University. Her book Human Nature will be published by Ecco Press in 2023. Here, Kate shares what brought a cosmologist down to Earth, how going on way too long of a hike can help catalyze a career in climate science, and more. Q: What is your role with the Project Drawdown Science team? A: As the senior scientist for climate, I’m helping to understand the climate impacts of solutions and the climate impact if we don't deploy those solutions. My role is one that I can’t accomplish alone—I really need to be working with an interdisciplinary team. This is why I’m so excited to be here. I love learning new things, I love talking to people smarter than me. And to be able to do that in the service of climate solutions is a dream come true. Q: What superpower do you bring to the job? A: Not being afraid of asking dumb questions. I have an awareness of what I don't know and a respect for what other people know and the ability to talk across disciplines and to listen across disciplines. It takes a lot of effort and energy to be an expert in any field. But that’s not enough. We need experts in everything, but we need translators, too. Q: What’s a childhood toy or experience that relates to the work you’re doing today? A: My dad used to take me on very poorly planned outdoor adventures—ones I was much too young for, like a 15-mile hike—and forget to do very basic things like bring water. That gave me both a love of the natural world and also a healthy respect for it. And that contributes to how I feel about climate change. Nature is always throwing things at us. You sometimes hear, “Don’t worry, we’ll just adapt.” I agree there are many things we need to do to increase resilience, but there is no “just” about it. Nature is a very powerful force, and we’re changing it in a big way. Q: What was the subject of your Ph.D. dissertation, and why? A: On the spontaneous generation by quantum tunneling of a bubble of alternative universes within our universe. I chose that because I was interested in trying to solve what is probably one of the most outstanding problems in physics, which is (awkwardly) that we have no idea what 95 percent of the universe is. I’m not sure it worked, but it was interesting, and it taught me quantitative skills I still use today. Q: How did you get from there to here? A: I realized in the process that the most interesting things to me were made out of normal matter and in fact are here on Earth. This is where everything I care about is, and it’s changing, and maybe I can use some of my physics skills to understand how and why this place I love is changing and maybe be able to do something about that. I got a science fellowship at Stanford that was flexible as long as it had a science component and policy component. I used that to explore different areas and landed on climate modeling. Q: What’s a favorite Drawdown Solution? A: I’ll go with seaweed farming. My 7-year-old wants to be a kelp farmer, mostly because he thinks that he’ll get his own sea otter that way. We talk a lot about climate change—not in a doom and gloom framework, but about how we know this is a problem and we know there are many different solutions. And this is one way he wants to help solve it. Q: When you’re not working, what’s your ideal way to spend a weekend? A: I love water—swimming, surfing, going to the beach with my family. I grew up in Ohio. Not growing up in a coastal city is a great way to learn to love the coast. Q: You have a book, Human Nature, coming out later this year. Care to provide a sneak preview? A: It’s the story of climate science in nine different emotions. In each chapter I present an aspect of the science and how it makes me feel—the physics of the Earth and wonder; attribution and shame; the history of global warming science and anger at how it was ignored, and so on. The second-to-last pair is solutions and hope, and the final chapter pairs the fundamental interconnectedness of everything with the emotion of love. That’s why I got into his line of work. I love the Earth, and I love the people on it. Q: You seem both a right-brain and a left-brain person. How do you get your two selves to play well together? A: I don’t really see them in opposition. Science can really learn from the arts. When we look at climate projections, it helps to be able to use the tools that an artist would use, that a writer would use. We talked about communicating across disciplines. That’s what literature is for; that’s what poetry is for. Q: Who is your climate hero? A: Whoever is reading this—you are my climate hero if you are doing climate solution work. Like to learn more about Kate? Check out her TED talk, “Can Clouds Buy Us More Time to Solve Climate Change?” and her Story Collider presentation, “Becoming a Genius.”
Perspective | March 29, 2023
New IPCC report highlights urgent need to advance climate solutions and development simultaneously
Last week’s release of the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) synthesis report distills almost a decade of the latest climate science into an urgent, systemic call to action — imploring us to mobilize resources to tackle climate change and poverty at the same time if we are to ensure a just and sustainable future. Thankfully, climate mitigation solutions already exist for tackling both of these grand challenges of our time simultaneously. The synthesis report shows that 1) global greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase despite international pledges and 2) we are almost out of time to limit warming to 1.5 ℃. Pathways still exist to avert breaching this level of warming. They will require a holistic approach that not only mitigates, adapts to, and accounts for loss and damages from climate change but also provides credible development pathways for low- and middle-income countries, a cornerstone of climate justice. The report also makes clear that mitigation activities will be necessary in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). There is an unequal burden placed on LMICs, recognizing that they have contributed the least to historical emissions. LMICs not only need to pursue mitigation and adaptation simultaneously, but they must also be able to align their necessary development with their climate goals. Ensuring LMICs have an accessible pathway to sustainable development is both a matter of climate justice as well as a preventive measure against exacerbating health issues and future loss and damages; as the report notes, those experiencing extreme poverty are the most vulnerable to climate hazards. With more than 700 million people experiencing extreme poverty worldwide, supporting locally-led mitigation and adaptation efforts must catapult to the top of the priority list for the global community. The 2022 IPCC summary report on mitigation, which the synthesis report drew upon, indicated that mitigation activities that were implemented “in the context of sustainable development, equity, and poverty eradication, and rooted in the development aspirations of the societies within which they take place, will be more acceptable, durable and effective.” In other words, climate and development must be addressed synergistically. A previous IPCC summary report on adaptation and vulnerability, another body of work that the synthesis report drew from, identified climate change as a significant barrier to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Not only does climate change limit available resources needed to achieve the SDGs, but currently communities and countries are experiencing climate-induced impacts to local infrastructure, livelihoods, health and resilience efforts. Climate vulnerable communities — which typically lack access to vital resources to prepare for and build back from disasters — increasingly face more severe and/or frequent extreme weather events that pose great challenges to their development. The global community must begin prioritizing climate solutions that also address poverty and well-being in order to leverage the most secure footing for the future. Project Drawdown has identified 28 climate mitigation solutions with co-benefits in areas such as energy, food security, income and work, water and sanitation, health, gender equality, education, access to networks, housing, social equity, peace and justice, and political voice. These co-benefits will be essential to recognize in climate initiatives — especially in LMICs — to advance and achieve interconnected international goals such as those set out in the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. The 28 solutions include five key sectors: 1) improving agriculture and agroforestry, 2) protecting and restoring ecosystems, 3) adopting clean cooking, 4) providing clean electricity, and 5) fostering equality. In addition to the co-benefits listed above, these initiatives could reduce or sequester greenhouse gasses by 691.4 gigatons of CO2-eq over 30 years. Furthermore, these solutions are particularly applicable to rural communities in Africa and South Asia where 85 percent of the world’s population experiencing extreme poverty reside. There is an enormous opportunity for properly designed and implemented policies for low-carbon and resilient growth that can also help address poverty and inequality, enabling people to live healthier, more prosperous lives. At its core, addressing climate, poverty, and human well-being simultaneously is a matter of climate justice. As defined by the Climate Justice Playbook, “climate justice means advancing climate solutions that link human rights and development in a human-centered approach, placing the needs, voices and leadership of those who are most impacted at the forefront.” Climate justice must be an integral part of a societal transition. We can no longer afford to take a siloed approach to mitigation, adaptation, development, and justice — they must all become part of a holistic, integrated approach. The latest AR6 synthesis report will be the last we hear of IPCC assessments until just two years before 2030. This report demands that we seize the opportunity to mobilize resources to address both climate and poverty immediately and urgently, as the challenges will only grow exponentially larger in the future. Implementing climate solutions with proven co-benefits for poverty alleviation and human well-being offers our best chance at achieving a sustainable and thriving future for current and future generations.
Feature | March 21, 2023
Women leading climate action through agriculture, education, and health
On March 9, Project Drawdown’s Drawdown Lift program hosted a lively discussion with the Clean Cooking Alliance about how women are leading on climate action and climate justice and implementing solutions that strengthen adaptation, boost human well-being, and mitigate future emissions. As a continuation of International Women’s Day, we embraced equity, focusing on two of the most defining challenges of our time—climate change and poverty. Watch the recording here. Advancing gender equality is central to ensuring that our global community thrives and addresses the climate crisis. Women are problem solvers and central to guiding the world to reach drawdown, boosting resilience, and creating systemic change. Women must be represented in all levels of decision-making, and our agency—as leaders, activists, educators, and entrepreneurs—should not be underestimated. We also acknowledge our allies who continue to ensure that we have a seat at the table and that our voices are heard and valued. Moderated by Wanjira Mathai, community builder and managing director of Africa & Global Partnerships with World Resources Institute, the event featured four amazing panelists who shared wisdom and tangible examples from the fields of agriculture, education, clean cooking, health, and climate justice. Panelists included: Makandi Laiboni, leader of the digital team for One Acre Fund’s Kenya’s program, Tupande, which designs and implements the organization’s digital vision and strategy directly for smallholder farmers. Natasha Lwanda, the former national chairperson of the CAMFED Association, who uses her intimate experience of poverty and exclusion to support vulnerable young women and girls to become influential change-makers in Zambia. Patience Alifo, the co-founder of Econexus Ventures Limited, a Ghanaian-based biotechnology social enterprise commercializing sustainable biofuel and waste-to-energy production in Africa. Sohanur Rahman, the chief executive of a youth-led organization called Protiki Jubi Sangsad, or Bangladesh Model Youth Parliament, who also coordinates the largest youth network, YouthNet for Climate Justice, in Bangladesh. Each panelist had a different reason for why they were inspired to do the work they do, including experiencing extreme weather events and gender inequality firsthand, identifying major gender gaps that could lead to a pathway to prosperity, or advancing their personal commitments to give back to the community. We know that climate change threatens decades of progress and exacerbates pre-existing inequities—particularly in countries most vulnerable to climate change who have contributed the least to it—but solutions are at hand. Building off Project Drawdown’s Climate-Poverty Connections report, panelists spoke to several of the 28 mitigation solutions that also substantially contribute to boosting human well-being, strengthening resilience, and alleviating poverty.
News | March 13, 2023
How the gaming industry can tackle the climate crisis
The private sector has a big role to play in implementing climate action. The solutions we need are not the flashy fixes we often see portrayed as panaceas: While things like offsets and carbon removal technologies play a role, they can be scientifically unsound and untimely. Instead, the private sector must focus on real, strategic, and systemic impact that goes beyond reducing their own emissions. The Drawdown-Aligned Business Framework provides valuable guidance for doing just that, bringing to light the political, social, and human capital businesses have to help the world achieve zero emissions. And now a good thing has gotten even better: With the help of business partner Unity, a real-time gaming development platform, and a working group of key industry experts, we’re proud to release Project Drawdown’s first industry-specific resource for climate action: A Drawdown-Aligned Framework for the Gaming Industry.
Profile | February 23, 2023
Drawdown Science profile: James Gerber
This article is the third in a series introducing the members of Project Drawdown’s new science team. James Gerber is a data scientist with expertise in agriculture, impacts of land use on the environment, modeling of crop yields, and ocean wave energy. He uses various analytic techniques to assess the effect of climate mitigation solutions in the land use sector. As a researcher with the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, James studied connections among agriculture, ecosystems, climate, and food security. He was a lead author for the Sixth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has consulted on a wide variety of projects for nongovernmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, The Packard Foundation, and The World Bank. Before he started researching land use, James worked on optimizing conversion of wave energy to electricity. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Here, James explains how he got from wave physics to climate change mitigation, trash talks American drivers, avoids sharing his favorite drawdown solution, and nails the answer to the most important question ever asked. Q: When people ask what you do with Project Drawdown, what do you tell them? A: I haven't been here very long, so my answer is based on what I think I’ll be doing and why I was so excited to get this job. Project Drawdown is really focused on making solutions happen. For the last 13 years I’ve been in a somewhat academic world defining what problems are in the land use sector, particularly with agriculture, and showing how big the impact is and looking at what some solutions could look like and what sectors and regions they could be most effective in, but those were not necessarily actionable. What I’m excited about at Project Drawdown is taking the next step and helping to formulate those solutions in a way they can really easily be implemented to achieve climate and other goals at the same time. Q: What do you see as the biggest obstacles to solving climate change? A: In some ways people don’t realize how doable it is. There are so many things out there that are win-wins and will pay for themselves and have all sorts of good co-benefits, and people aren’t aware of that. So a lack of knowledge, and maybe a little bit of pessimism that goes along with that. Also, there are often vested interests in keeping things the way they are. There’s no lobby for industries that don't yet exist, but there are lobbies for things that society might want to sunset. So there’s this knowledge problem and there’s this momentum problem as well. Q: What’s your superpower? A: I feel like I'm a pretty good programmer, in that I think I come up with clever algorithms to solve data analysis issues. Q: What is the best (or worst) experience you’ve had that involved a bicycle? A: I did my junior year in southern France. I was super poor, so I took a bicycle out of the trash and started biking around. I was pulling on the handlebars and peddling, and all of a sudden one handlebar fell off. I turned into traffic next to me and fell over—I thought I was going to be squashed. In America I might have been, but French drivers are really good. This guy slammed on his brakes and did not hit me. Q: What was the subject of your Ph.D. dissertation? A: Acoustic propagation through internal waves in the ocean. Q: And how did you get from there to here? A: I did my postdoctoral work on wave theory in Paris, then we moved for my wife’s job to Princeton. I was offered a postdoctoral position at Princeton in Environmental Science, and I was offered a job at a small startup doing ocean wave energy. I felt the world did not need another postdoc but I could make a difference with wave energy so I took the job in renewable energy. Later, when we moved to Minnesota, I wanted to stay in an environmental field so I took a position at the Institute on the Environment at the intersection of environment and agriculture. Moving to Project Drawdown is a logical next step in the trajectory of my career from siloed technical work to impact-focused and policy-relevant. I really think I can have an impact here. Q: What’s your favorite Drawdown Solution and why? A: It’s hard to choose a favorite. It’s like asking which is my favorite child. Can I get back to you on that one? Q: Speaking of favorite children, any advice for parenting young adults? A: Find a balance between having the current and future versions of your child angry at you. Q: What gives you hope? A: The fact that even though there is pessimism out there, we’re really making progress as a society and I think the word is getting out there. There are all sorts of examples of entities that have decreased their carbon footprint while improving quality of life. There are so many technologies that are coming online right now. Miracles are not needed; we just need to implement what we have. Together, these give me hope. Q: What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything? A: 42. Come on.
Feature | February 15, 2023
Unlock your inner climate superhero
Drawdown’s Neighborhood, presented by Project Drawdown, is a series of short documentaries featuring the stories of climate solutions heroes, city by city. We are extremely excited to share with you that following the 2022 release of episodes profiling Pittsburgh and Atlanta, the series’ third edition—“Drawdown’s Neighborhood: Twin Cities”—is now available online! Join host and Project Drawdown director of storytelling and engagement Matt Scott as he passes the mic to nine climate heroes whose stories often go unheard, and elevates climate action—and stories about careers, race, gender, sexuality, mental health, personal and community resilience, family, and more—in the process. The series’ third round of documentary shorts showcases Minnesota’s Twin Cities, located on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Native lands of the Dakota and Anishinaabe People. While Minneapolis and St. Paul are renowned for their vibrant arts scene, rich cultural diversity, and natural beauty, they are also home to a robust ecosystem of people and organizations deeply committed to working on climate solutions. In the targets outlined in its current climate action plan, the City of Minneapolis is aiming by 2025 to cut down greenhouse gas emissions by nearly one-third, generate 10 percent of electricity from renewable sources, and increase rates of recycling, composting, and bicycle commuting. Meanwhile, St. Paul's current climate action and resilience plan aims to have all city operations be carbon neutral by 2030 with further plans for the entire city to go carbon neutral by 2050 through greater use of natural infrastructure and implementation of a wide range of green-friendly initiatives. “Drawdown’s Neighborhood: Twin Cities” profiles local climate superheroes who are helping fuel progress in pursuit of these goals to help lay the foundation for a healthy, just, and vibrant future for all. Day in and day out, each of the interviewees are doing their part to help the world reach drawdown—the future point when levels of greenhouse gases start to steadily decline. And each story serves as a bridge between climate solutions and people like you looking to tap into their own superpowers to stop climate change. The Drawdown’s Neighborhood short documentaries touch on a range of themes used to inspire action. Themes include pathways to climate careers; collaboration across silos, including geographies, sectors, and ideologies; diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice; hope and opportunity; individual action paired with systems change; and personal and community resilience. The nine stories from the Twin Cities center the voices of women, Black people, people of color, immigrants, and others who are often not represented in the climate dialogue and yet are commonly most immediately and severely vulnerable to the impacts of climate catastrophe. You will be inspired to discover your own climate superpower with Bob Blake, a member of Minnesota’s Red Lake Tribal Band of Ojibwe Indians whose vision and leadership is advancing the region’s renewable energy transition while empowering tribal nations to lead the way toward a clean energy future. Put yourself in the driver’s seat on the road to a greener future with Yesenia Robles Pelayo, who manages fleet logistics for a non-profit all-electric community car share program while working directly with community members who might otherwise not have access to affordable, climate-friendly transportation. Turbocharge your pursuit of climate justice with Emily Mauter, whose work with Repowered—one of the most prominent collectors of e-waste in Minnesota—is not only creating new opportunities for electronics through increased recycling, but also providing workforce development and reintegration opportunities for people who have experienced incarceration. The series also includes: Jose Alvillar Hinojosa, Statewide Director of Youth Programs with Unidos MN Whitney Terrill, Former Environmental Justice Program Manager with Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light Alboury Ndiaye, Sustainability Specialist with the Waste Wise Foundation Crispin (Cris) Phillips, Urban Agriculture Manager for Appetite for Change Jan Hagerman, Manager of New Brighton ReStore at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Jothsna Harris, Founder and Principal at Change Narrative Feeling inspired? To unleash your inner climate superhero, visit Drawdown’s Neighborhood to discover solutions and take action today.
News | February 6, 2023
Major businesses praise USPS shift to electric delivery fleet
A group of major corporations led by Etsy and eBay is praising the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for committing to exclusively purchase electric vehicles starting in 2026, in a letter coordinated by Drawdown Labs, Project Drawdown’s private-sector testing ground for accelerating the adoption of climate solutions quickly, safely and equitably. Etsy and eBay are among the largest e-commerce marketplaces in the country. The USPS is central to their business and to millions of small sellers who run their shops on these platforms. The USPS is currently transitioning to an all-new fleet of 106,000 delivery vehicles. It announced in December that 62 percent of those purchases over the next five years will have all-electric powertrains and by 2026, 100 percent of newly purchased vehicles will be electric. The letter from Etsy and eBay also includes signatories Askov Finlayson, Avocado Green, Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar, Dr. Bronner’s, A Good Company, Grove Collaborative, Patagonia, Peak Design, Seventh Generation, Stonyfield and Warby Parker. “This decision sends a message to every business in the United States: it is possible, achievable and necessary to adopt all-electric fleets for corporate transportation and shipping needs,” said Jamie Alexander, director of Drawdown Labs at Project Drawdown. “These companies are working hard to reduce their climate impact, and this move by the USPS enables them to address the difficult-to-abate supply chain emissions. This is good news for all involved.” With a shift to electric vehicles, the group of companies believe it will not just be good for the environment but good for business as consumers reap the benefits of lower costs and other innovations made possible by electric vehicles. The nation and the world are quickly transitioning to electric vehicles, led by consumer demand for the many benefits of EVs, including better efficiency, easier maintenance, zero emissions and better performance. That means cleaner air, reduced climate risk and improved health across the globe. Electrifying vehicles is a key climate solution, with the potential to reduce up to 9.8 gigatons of CO2-e by 2050. “For millions of small sellers and entrepreneurs on Etsy, a modern USPS committed to innovation and sustainability is crucial for the vibrancy of their small and micro businesses,” said Chelsea Mozen, senior director of impact & sustainability at Etsy. “The USPS’s commitment to a robust electric delivery fleet is good for the postal service, good for small businesses and good for America.” “USPS’s commitment to electric vehicles is great news for small businesses like the many on our platform who rely on USPS to keep their business moving. eBay is proud to support this move toward greater sustainability and a cleaner world,” said eBay chief sustainability officer Renée Morin.
Video | January 30, 2023
TEDxBoston: The Drawdown Roadmap
Project Drawdown has used rigorous science to identify and characterize nearly 100 practices and technologies that, if ambitiously implemented together, can achieve drawdown—the point when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere start to steadily decline, thereby stopping catastrophic climate change. Now, how do we scale them? The Drawdown Roadmap is a science-based framework to strategically and effectively deploy these powerful climate solutions in order to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The roadmap takes into account how opportunity for reduction is distributed across sectors, the relative cost (or financial benefit) of the various solutions, and where and when each might most effectively be implemented. In this TEDxBoston presentation, Project Drawdown executive director Jonathan Foley introduces the Drawdown Roadmap and outlines how this new plan for prioritizing climate action across sectors, time, and geography can “really drive change on climate change” while there’s still time. Watch “The Drawdown Roadmap: A Science-based Framework to Accelerate Climate Solutions" now.
Profile | January 24, 2023
Drawdown Science profile: Yusuf Jameel
This article is the third in a series introducing the members of Project Drawdown’s new science team. Yusuf Jameel joined Project Drawdown in 2021 as a research manager for Drawdown Lift. In January 2023 he transitioned to the Drawdown Science team as associate scientist, data science. A multidisciplinary scientist with experience in water resources, public health, data analytics, and science communication, he’s passionate about finding solutions to climate change and bridging the gap between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Yusuf obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Please welcome Yusuf as he shares his thoughts on growing up on the banks of the Ganges River, enhancing human well-being through the adoption of climate solutions, porcupine hair, and more. Q: When people ask you what you do with Project Drawdown, what do you tell them? A. As a member of the science team, I work on climate solutions using my experience in data analysis, especially on solutions that also address the food–energy–water nexus. I also work on translating the science in a way that makes it widely accessible. Q: Of all of the things you could be doing, why did you choose to join Project Drawdown? A: Project Drawdown is on a mission to actually address the biggest problem the world is facing today, climate change. I was really impressed by the book. It was the first to lay out that yes, we can address climate change—it's not just about gloom and doom, it’s also about opportunity. Project Drawdown addresses climate in a way that’s multidimensional, promotes the best science, addresses the different audiences, and passes the mic. That really motivates me. Q: What do you consider some of the biggest obstacles to implementing and scaling up climate solutions? A: First is unlocking the finance to fund climate solutions globally. We need capital from the private sector, from banks divesting from fossil fuels, and we need to invest in green solutions. Another challenge is politics. We need to think more altruistically. This is a global challenge requiring everyone to join hands, yet it has not been the case so far. The good news is, public perception is changing. Hopefully politics will change, and more capital will be funneled into climate solutions. Q: OK, time for a break. What’s your favorite food? A: I would go with my comfort food, and that’s biryani. It’s a big tradition in South Asian countries, and if you ask anyone in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, biryani is probably one of the top dishes. It’s not the healthiest dish, but it’s just so comforting. Q: I’m sure you have many, but can you tell us about one superpower you bring to this job? A: I’m a jack of all trades. Whether it’s high-level thinking, brainstorming ideas, or actually doing the work, I’m comfortable doing it all. I’m also adaptable. If a situation requires me to step up and take the lead I can, or I can step back and follow. Q: What's a childhood experience that relates to the work you're doing today? A: I grew up on the banks of the River Ganges. Every now and then there would be flooding. As a result, many people would go through an annual cycle of losing crops and be entrenched in a cycle of poverty, unable to get out. This had a profound effect on me. When I started reading about climate change and seeing flooding events become more and more intense, I recognized the need to address climate and development holistically. Q: What’s your favorite Drawdown Solution? A: There are so many of them! I really like Distributed Solar Photovoltaics and Reduced Food Waste, but my favorite is Clean Cooking. I think that solution can revolutionize the lives of billions of people in the world, especially young girls. It not only addresses climate but also vastly improves health, addresses gender equality, and opens up economic opportunities. If we can implement clean cooking and distributed solar, we’ll see huge changes in the lives of billions of people globally. Q: Time for another break. If you were a nonhuman animal, what animal would you be? A: As a kid I had short hair that was like vertical hair, as if I had had an electric shock. So many of my friends called me Porcupine. People would rub my hair all the time as it felt like velvet. Now I keep my hair long. Q: What gives you hope? A: I derive my hope from two things. First, we’re rapidly advancing technology—a lot of people from across the world are putting their effort into finding and implementing the best and most important solutions to address climate change. Second, when I was at COP27, I saw that young people are really leading the movement. That gives me hope that we can do meaningful work on this very important but challenging issue. Q: Anything else you’d like to share? A: I like nature. I especially like mountains. This is something I realized very late in life, maybe because I grew up in cities with very little nature around. When I moved to Utah, I started going to the mountains. I realized how peaceful and how nice it is, and I can’t not talk about it. As human societies are getting more urbanized, a lot of us, especially young people who live in large metropolises, are cut off from nature. And I hope they reconnect with nature. We need to appreciate nature and biodiversity much more than we do. Once it’s gone, it’s not coming back. We need to love it, respect it, and protect it.
Video | January 24, 2023
How to make your job a climate job
Would you like your work to help alleviate the climate crisis, even though “climate” is not part of your current position description? In this webinar, sponsored by Climate People, presenters offer actionable advice on how you can reduce the threat of climate change, wherever you are and whatever you do for a living. Presenters: Aiyana Bodi, senior associate, Drawdown Labs Adam Braun, co-founder and CEO of Climate Cluib Ben Lai, senior software developer and employee Green Team lead at LinkedIn Kristy Drutman, co-founder of Browngirl Green