What Does Drawdown Mean?

We are gradually working out way through the recently released Drawdown Review 2020. So it makes sense to talk about what Drawdown means and why it is the focus of  Project Drawdown.

This from the Drawdown Review 2020 (Pages 8-11):

First the Challenge:

Burning fossil fuels for electricity, mobility, and heat. Manufacturing cement and steel. Plowing soils. Clearing forests and degrading other ecosystems. All these activities emit heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the air. Cattle, rice fields, landfills, and fossil fuel operations release methane—a gas that warms the planet even more.

Nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases seep out of agricultural lands, industrial sites, refrigeration systems, and urban areas, adding still more heat-trapping pollutants to Earth’s atmosphere. Most of these greenhouse gases stay airborne, but not all. Natural biological and chemical processes—especially photosynthesis—bring some of that excess back to plants, soil, or sea. These “sinks” are nature’s reservoirs for absorbing and storing carbon.

To understand and advance climate solutions, it’s important to understand the sources of emissions and nature’s means of rebalancing the climate system.

Heat-trapping greenhouse gases come from six sectors:

▶ ~25% Electricity Production
▶ ~24% Food, Agriculture, & Land Use

▶ ~21% Industry
▶ ~14% Transportation
▶ ~6% Buildings

▶ ~10% Other Energy-Related Emissions

Here is complex solutions, stated rather succinctly:

Greenhouse gas sinks are the counterpoint to these sources. While ~59% of heat-trap- ping emissions stay in the atmosphere, ~24% are quickly removed by plants on land and ~17% are taken up by oceans.

To reach Drawdown, we must work on all aspects of the climate equation—stopping sources and supporting sinks, as well as helping society achieve broader transfor- mations. That is, three connected areas call for action, which we must pursue globally, simultaneously, and with determination.

So the three broad goals are:

1. Reduce Sources, bringing emissions to zero.

2. Support Sinks, uplifting nature’s carbon cycle.

3. Improve Society, fostering equality for all.

In subsequent posts we will start to look at some solutions, especially ones that might be relevant to a small town like Sandwich, NH or perhaps your town too. Of course, you don’t have to wait for us. You can read the report now. And if you need support, you can take free courses at the the Pachamama Alliance, which is helping to organize globally to reach drawdown.

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