100 real-world actions happening now have the potential to bring greenhouse gases back down to a level that won’t cause humans to join the ranks of the dodo and other extinct species. They just need to be scaled up. That’s the conclusion of environmentalist and entrepreneur Paul Hawken and the team of researchers, scientists, business people and political leaders he assembled for Project Drawdown.

The team spent several years cataloging and modeling feasible, real-world carbon-reducing actions. They analyzed existing technological, ecological, and behavioral solutions for their potential to reduce and drawdown greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The results were published in April of 2017 in a book edited by Hawken, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.

Criteria included:

  • 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?

In this May 2017 interview, Hawken shares details of the project, a few surprises, and his perspective on making use of this information. Paul Hawken has previously authored Ecology of Commerce and co-authored Natural Capitalism.

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