Think of the causes of global warming, and fossil fuel energy probably comes to mind. Less conspicuous are the consequences of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food system is elaborate and complex; its requirements and impacts are extraordinary. Fossil fuels power tractors, fishing vessels, transport, processing, chemicals, packaging materials, refrigeration, supermarkets, and kitchens. Chemical fertilizers atomize into the air, forming the powerful greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. Our passion for meat involves over 60 billion land animals that require nearly half of all agricultural land for food and pasture. Livestock emissions, including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, are responsible for an estimate 18 to 20 percent of greenhouse gases annually, a source second only to fossil fuels. If you add to livestock all other food-related emissions—from farming to deforestation to food waste—what we eat turns out to be the number one cause of global warming. This section profiles techniques, behaviors, and practices that can transform a source into a sink; instead of releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, food production can capture carbon as a means to increase fertility, soil health, water availability, yields, and ultimately nutrition and food security. –Section from book DRAWDOWN – THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE PLAN EVER PROPOSED TO REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING | EDITED BY PAUL HAWKEN


March 2024 Update:

Introduction to Project Drawdown

Project Drawdown is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “Drawdown” – the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline, thereby stopping catastrophic climate change.

Founded in 2014, Project Drawdown has emerged as a leading resource for information and insight about climate solutions. The organization has conducted rigorous research and assessment of a comprehensive set of 93 climate solutions, which it has compiled into the Drawdown framework.

The Drawdown framework covers a wide range of solutions across different sectors, including:

– Electricity generation (e.g. renewable energy, energy efficiency)
– Food, agriculture, and land use (e.g. reduced food waste, plant-rich diets, reforestation)
– Industry (e.g. alternative refrigerants, cement production improvements)
– Transportation (e.g. electric vehicles, public transit, high-speed rail)
– Buildings (e.g. energy efficiency, heat pumps, smart thermostats)
– Land and coastal/ocean sinks (e.g. forest restoration, mangrove protection)

Project Drawdown’s mission is to advance these effective, science-based climate solutions and strategies, foster bold new climate leadership, and promote new narratives and voices around climate change.  The organization aims to support a growing constellation of efforts to move climate solutions forward and reach Drawdown as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible.

Through its research, communication, and partnerships, Project Drawdown has influenced university curricula, city climate plans, business commitments, community action, and philanthropic strategy around the world. The organization continues to develop its resources and work to accelerate the deployment of climate solutions globally.