<I>Drawdown</I> and the New Conversation on Climate Change


Drawdown and the New Conversation on Climate Change

Learn more about our work and services by emailing us at [email protected]. Follow the conversation on twitter: @TerrapinBG.

Drawdown book

Drawdown edited by Paul Hawken.

Climate change due to the accelerated buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activities may well be the most daunting challenge humanity has ever faced. While many resources have been devoted to determining climate projections and consequences as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, few have begun to look at how we might holistically reverse this trend. Project Drawdown was created by our friend Paul Hawken to fill this gap.

Last month, Project Drawdown released its much anticipated book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. The book describes, analyzes, models, and maps 100 diverse technologies and strategies to achieve “drawdown,” or what the coalition defines as “that point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis.” Each of the solutions already exist and their potential carbon impact is described and ranked.

Our partners Bill Browning (an advisor for Drawdown), Bob Fox (an advisor for Drawdown), and Chris Garvin each share their thoughts on Drawdown and how it affects the larger conversation around climate change:

Bill Browning

Drawdown charts a new course in thinking about the challenge of climate change.  Rather than getting trapped in just thinking about mitigation or adaptation, neither of which will actually reverse the impact of increased carbon in the atmosphere, this effort looks to reduce carbon in the atmosphere and put it into products, plants, and ultimately back in the ground. Rather than villainizing carbon, this effort celebrates that all life on this planet is carbon-based, and that the problem is simply too much carbon in the wrong place. Drawdown gives examples of existing technologies and strategies that can reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and help to restore what we would consider a normal climate.

Bob Fox

I think that to have come up with this idea for Drawdown is fantastic. In our daily lives, we encounter a lot of uninspired writing. For one person to come up with this groundbreaking concept, assemble a team of researchers, and thoughtfully compile the research into a single seminal piece of work is amazing.

The solutions I found the most unique and inspiring all had to do with women and their education. Educating women is a simple and effective solution that has such profound impacts. I think that’s the brilliance of Drawdown’s approach – these solutions already exist. But their potential hasn’t been fully realized. So I think that everyone has to get on this and make it happen even faster!

Chris Garvin

I’m excited for Drawdown because it takes a science-driven approach to mapping the power of individual action around the world to reverse climate change. As a whole, it provides a global systems approach to the major challenge of our time and how everyone’s actions can positively contribute to the solution.

I don’t have a single favorite solution. What I believe is more important is the ability for people to analyze the strategies to develop hybrid approaches that can be integrated into their lives and work. The Project Drawdown website really enables this  because it allows an interactive approach to the data.

The book reinforces the importance of the built environment and land use as a major part of the strategy to reverse climate change. I look forward to working with clients to discuss how their work can accelerate the solutions identified in Drawdown.


To read more about Project Drawdown, explore the solutions, and order a copy of Drawdown, please visit the website here.