Drawdown Insights

Video  |  February 27, 2024
The climate solutions worth funding – now
There’s no question about it: We have all of the solutions to climate change we need. But which solutions should we deploy, and when and where should we deploy them, to have the biggest impact in the least amount of time?  In his latest TED Talk, Project Drawdown executive director Jonathan Foley presents the Drawdown Roadmap, a science-based framework for identifying the best solutions to use at the right time and in the right place to address climate change while improving human well-being and providing other benefits as well.  From emphasizing emergency brake solutions to elevating the importance of time over tech, the talk is sure to inform and inspire you as much as it did the live audience of executives, scientists, policymakers, artists, activists, innovators, and others at TED Countdown Summit 2023 in Detroit. Speaking to an invitation-only audience, Foley unpacked the Roadmap’s signature approach to allocating climate solutions funding to maximize returns on investment: 1) start with solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately; 2) deploy currently available solutions rather than count on new technologies to do the job later; 3) home in on geographic hot spots; and 4) prioritize solutions that also boost human well-being. Watch the video now by clicking on the image above – then share with colleagues and others who might benefit from this important message.
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Video  |  February 21, 2024
Built This Way: How better buildings are essential for stopping climate change
From how they're built to how they're run, buildings are a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore building better is essential for stopping climate change and creating a healthier, more sustainable planet.  In this latest in our series of Ignite webinars, Project Drawdown senior scientist Amanda D. Smith shares insights into how the built environment contributes to climate change – and the part it can play in mitigating it.  Top Takeaways: The footprint of buildings is expected to grow 75% by 2050, with the bulk of that in low and middle-income countries. Calculations of how much buildings contribute to Earth’s greenhouse gas burden vary, but one thing is clear: If we want to halt climate change, we need to alter how we make and use buildings. Buildings’ biggest direct climate impacts come from burning fossil fuels and using refrigerants. Other contributors include electricity, transportation, other energy-related emissions, and land use change. For advanced buildings with low energy use, embodied emissions (industrial emissions and others created in making the materials that comprise the building) are an increasingly large portion of their overall climate impact.
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Perspective  |  February 7, 2024
Room to grow: Identifying the best opportunities for improving crop yield
by James Gerber
The global food system isn’t broken, yet it needs fixing.  Agriculture is vital: It produces food for all of us, provides employment for over a billion people, and is central to many developing economies. It also is under a LOT of pressure: In the years ahead, it will need to meet growing demand while minimizing its environmental footprint and coping with a changing climate. If we improve yields on current farmlands, we can meet these needs without more land clearing – a huge contributor to climate change – and even allow some land to return to a natural state.  Technological improvements, from improved farming machinery, to readily available fertilizers, to the hybrid seeds of the Green Revolution, to computer-assisted modern farming technology, have dramatically increased productivity in the past. But how much more can yields be improved? And where? A study my colleagues and I recently published in the journal Nature Food examines this question through the lens of the “yield gap.” The yield gap is the difference between the per-acre or per-hectare crop yield farmers *could* obtain (the “yield ceiling”) and what they *do* obtain (the “actual yield”). Yield gaps aren’t necessarily a bad thing if it means that improvements are coming faster than farmers can apply them.  Take maize in the United States, for example. The yield ceiling has seen steady increase, thanks to research into improved cultivars, inputs, and farming technologies. The actual yield is steadily increasing as well, showing that farmers are adopting new technologies and practices at about the same rate they’re being developed, though with a bit of a lag.
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Perspective  |  February 2, 2024
Matt Scott presenting at the 2024 Great Northern Festival
We can’t end the climate crisis without “passing the mic”
by Matt Scott
If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my career as a storyteller, it’s this: Everyone has a story, and those stories have power. But in a society that often prioritizes science, data, news of the problem, and traditional voices over personal narratives, this essential truth is easy to overlook. I’d always been drawn to the stories my dad, Moses Scott, would share about growing up as a Black child in Civil Rights Era Virginia. He faced countless obstacles and, in his resilience, was my role model. He showed me that even when people want you to shrink yourself, you have to keep going, and I’ve always been motivated by his courage and fire to prove everyone wrong. When my dad passed away on March 8, 2017, he became the heart of my story, and the reason why I’ve dedicated my career on “passing the mic” to the changemakers who often go unheard. I’d long known that his story and the ways it influenced me were significant. However, it was his death that made me acutely aware that many of us – particularly those from Black and Brown communities – never have our stories told. That’s a key reason I share my dad’s story far and wide to this day; his story, like those of so many others that often go unheard, is full of insights that not only inspire and inform me but that have the power to motivate others. A couple years before his passing, I interviewed my dad about his story. “The way I see my life is taking lemons and making lemonade.” He continued, “That’s what, for me, Prince Edward County was.” The Story of Prince Edward County In 1959, the state of Virginia adopted the anti-integration policy of massive resistance. This blocked the desegregation of public schools ordered by the United States Supreme Court following Brown vs. the Board of Education. Until then, Black students and White students almost entirely attended separate schools, with Black students, including my dad, relegated to substandard conditions. When Virginia’s government closed the schools, nobody – including my dad, who was 16 at the time – would have imagined that some 1,700 students would be left without a formal education for five years. Consider the negative impacts of distance learning due to the COVID pandemic; now imagine learning being put entirely on hold for five years. “When we found out the schools were closed, I wasn’t too concerned,” my dad shared with me in an interview. “I was very happy to get another two months not to study and do whatever I wanted. But then, when it went beyond that… I missed school. School was where I competed, where I’d show that I was just as good as anybody and better than most. That outlet was gone.” In 1960, when given the option to become one of only 70 students to finish school living with complete strangers hundreds of miles away, my dad jumped at the opportunity. By the time the schools reopened, my dad, at 21 years old, was on his way to graduating from Howard University. In the following years, he would serve as a military captain, graduate from Harvard Business School, start a family, and launch his own business. Black history, my history, is filled with these stories of resilience, triumph, and joy. Still, I witnessed our predominantly White community discount my dad, overlooking his real-life superpowers and story. This was nothing new for him. Growing up, my dad cleaned the homes of wealthy, White community members who didn’t see his full potential. He told me, “Everything in that environment motivated me… Ms. Marshall, silver hair, about 80 years old. I used to go up the hill and I’d clean her house. One day, I must’ve been about 9 and she said to me, ‘Moses, if you learn how to make bed good, you might be able to get a good job at a hotel’…That made me mad, too. ‘No way!’ That’s what I said to myself, and this all helped me to be motivated.”  Even 60 years later, I could feel the emotion in his voice. His story taught me that challenging circumstances present us with a choice, a chance to take lemons and make lemonade.  The Stories We Need for a World in Crisis I can see strong parallels between my dad’s story and the treatment of people at the frontlines of the climate crisis. I’ve realized that even when you know that you have something valuable to contribute, people don’t always see your power.  As a young, Black, LGBTQ person, I have often been the only one from any of those demographics in the room in climate change conversations. Scientists, engineers, policymakers, and even storytellers, who are predominantly White men, have shaped the dominant narrative, discourse, and decision-making about climate. That is problematic. To end the climate crisis, conversations must include underrepresented problem-solvers who have thus far been overlooked in popular climate dialogue. We need narratives that center Black and Indigenous communities, communities of color, and others, who already bear the brunt of climate change and understand what just solutions look like. New narratives are critical to shine a light on untapped power.
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Perspective  |  February 1, 2024
How do we unlock and accelerate climate action?
by Tina Swanson, PhD
Now comes the hard part. After decades of inadequate efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change, we are running out of time. We need a new strategy.  Every new report and each successive COP, not to mention the daily news, confirms what we already know. Climate change is happening. It is affecting everyone everywhere. It’s damaging and deadly. It’s getting worse. And it’s already really expensive. Scientifically, there is no longer any doubt that we are causing climate change, principally by burning fossil fuels, cutting down forests, and using unsustainable agriculture practices.  The good news is, this means we can fix it. And, in fact, we know exactly what to do to effectively, economically, and equitably cut greenhouse gas emissions to slow, and ultimately stop, climate change.
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Perspective  |  December 20, 2023
COP28 logo with text that reads COP28 Takeaways
What good are climate talks? Five takeaways from COP28
by Daniel Jasper
The 2023 UN Conference of Parties – or COP28 – like its predecessors, concluded with mixed results. Some have lauded the “historic” consensus text which includes the need to “transition” away from fossil fuels. Others have lamented the vague language and non-binding nature of the text which, once again, leaves countries with too much leeway to circumvent real action while giving the appearance of climate leadership. These mixed results inevitably raise questions about the efficacy and relevancy of international climate talks. Year after year, they seem to produce much fanfare with little to show for it. It’s tempting to write the whole thing off as irrelevant. But to do so would also be forsaking key texts like the Paris Agreement, which was produced by the same process and is, unquestionably, the single most important guiding document for both public and private sector climate action.  In the same way that we cannot recuse ourselves from democratic processes and then bemoan the state of our public services, we can’t dismiss international climate talks and then criticize them for coming up short. In other words, we cannot opt out of a system and then demand that it does it better. (Though, you can opt out and build an alternative as architect and futurist Buckminster Fuller famously pointed out.) There is little question the process is flawed, but the agreements it produces have a very real impact on how state and non-state actors behave.  Critics have argued that the weak agreement reached at COP28 will, in effect, consign millions of people to death from threats like air pollution, extreme weather, and rising temperatures, among others. This is true and proves that these talks have tangible consequences. When these talks stall, it sends a clear message that world leaders are not taking climate action seriously, and the rest of the world slows its efforts as a result. But when negotiators make progress, it sends a globe-spanning signal that things are changing; businesses, philanthropies, civil society, and other stakeholders take note and adjust their behavior to keep pace or even stay ahead of the curve (e.g. adjusting a business model in anticipation of new regulations).  To be clear, we are not on track and our leaders are failing us. People have every right to be angered by the lackluster results, and watchdog criticism is essential to improving the process and the agreements it produces. At the same time, we must recognize that serious climate action requires unprecedented levels of international cooperation. And the COP process is, so far, our only option for increasing that cooperation. Thus, no matter how much we may wish to ignore it, we must instead understand it, engage with it, and do our part to pressure our leaders to do better. Future generations will have little sympathy for our personal preference to remain “above the politics”; engaging with these climate talks is what the moment demands of us – at least for now.  So, what, if anything, did COP28 achieve? Let’s look at five key outcomes of the talks. 1. The beginning of the end for fossil fuels? After nearly 30 years and 28 conferences, negotiators have finally agreed that fossil fuels are the primary contributor to climate change – decades after science, including some conducted by oil companies themselves, had demonstrated this connection.  Before and during the conference, world leaders and experts debated over draft language that would have called for a full fossil fuel phase-out, which would have represented a consensus that oil, gas, and coal must be reduced until they are completely eliminated. It is worth noting that even having this debate represents a milestone as previous COP texts have failed to mention fossil fuels at all. The final language of the text represented a consensus on “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner.” While the language is, technically, a “historic” acknowledgment from world leaders, it is not binding in any way and includes numerous loopholes by which countries may skirt their commitments.  Nonetheless, after tremendous external pressure led by frontline communities, Indigenous peoples, and civil society, the text offers a clear signal that the era of fossil fuels is coming to an end.  
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Feature  |  December 19, 2023
A landscape image of a stream running down a mountain
Drawdown Labs: 2023 year in review
by Drawdown Labs
This past year was marked by evolution: We refined the goals and strategies of Drawdown Labs to best harness our superpowers as we successfully scale climate action in the private sector. We brought to life new initiatives and resources for funders, employees, and the general public. But through it all, we continued to lead the way on climate solutions. Read on to see what we’ve been up to! (For a recap on previous efforts, see our 2022 year in review.) We grew the Drawdown Business Coalition. Earlier this year, Ted Otte joined Project Drawdown as senior manager of Drawdown Labs focused on growing the Drawdown Business Coalition and accelerating corporate climate leadership. These efforts were resoundingly successful as we: welcomed four new businesses – OLIPOP, Sodexo, Tradewater, and Wana Brands – and a new Implementation Partner – Carbon Collective – to the Drawdown Business Coalition; benchmarked progress and supported member companies in aligning with the Drawdown-Aligned Business Framework to uncover bright spots and blockers to scaling solutions across our network; engaged current business leaders on “emergency brake solutions,” educated hundreds of next-generation climate leaders through ClimateCAP, and served as a trusted advisor to our member companies on crucial sustainability decisions; and created the foundation for cross-coalition convenings to bring corporate and investor communities together in service of accelerating climate solutions in the world. We released a groundbreaking report on the link between banking practices and climate.  In December, we published innovative research showing that where you bank is one of the most important consumer decisions you make, and how you engage your bank is a powerful lever to catalyze systemic change. The landmark report shows how embracing climate-responsible personal banking can help the world address climate change – and getting started is relatively easy, accessible, and affordable. We made a splash in the media and beyond.  We garnered dozens of earned media appearances and reached thousands of people directly through in-person events, including a testimony at the Minnesota House of Representatives, a strong presence at Climate Week NYC, and a powerful Drawdown Ignite webinar. Enjoy some select highlights below: News: Jamie Beck Alexander, director of Drawdown Labs, appeared on Al Jazeera to discuss climate finance and in Canary Media on climate-friendly investing.  Podcasts: Jamie was a guest on DEGREES to show that any job can be green, and Aiyana Bodi, Drawdown Labs senior associate, appeared on Brown Girl Green to discuss business climate accountability. Panels: Jamie and Aiyana appeared on the Earth Day virtual stage hosted by Earth Day Initiative and March for Science New York City. Presentations: The Drawdown Labs team led over a dozen presentations and workshops for corporate decision-makers and climate-activated employees. Thought leadership: Jamie gave a boundary-pushing talk on the future of capitalism and climate change to almost 800 attendees in a Drawdown Ignite webinar; Ted shared his personal experience making the jump from tech to climate. We helped businesses take elevated climate action.  We aggregated business influence for policy advocacy, engaged media creators, and continued to push for a higher standard of corporate climate action. In 2023, we: coordinated a group of corporations on a letter praising the U.S. Postal Service for committing to exclusively purchase EVs starting in 2026; on the anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act – the largest investment in climate ever made in the United States – we supported Climate Power's #MadeByUs campaign, in which 70+ clean energy business leaders (including Business Coalition partners Trane Technologies and Seneca Solar) met with members of the Biden administration in a show of support for protecting federal investments in clean energy;  we participated in a steering committee alongside Count Us In, Unilever, Rare, Futerra, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and others to educate and model sustainable behaviors for thousands of social media creators to influence millions across their collective audiences; and we worked with a graduate student at Lund University to create a new typology based on the Drawdown-Aligned Business Framework to analyze U.S. companies’ progress on climate action, the findings of which suggest companies have more work to do on truly transformational measures.  We helped employees across job functions take climate action.  We continued the “every job is a climate job” drumbeat and created more resources for employee climate advocates: We released three new Job Function Action Guides for product managers, product designers, and engineers, with tangible actions to support them in becoming climate leaders, advocates, and practitioners within their teams and companies. The Job Function Action Guides were embedded into LinkedIn's new Sustainability Resource Hub, which is open to their 900 million member community. We worked closely with Google to release their Sustainability Marketing Playbook, helping identify and scale the most effective sustainability actions and strategies for marketers. Working alongside major game developers and the United Nations Environment Programme, we released A Drawdown-Aligned Framework for the Gaming Industry to show how software companies and their employees can help solve climate change. Climate Solutions at Work continued to be "the essential guide” on taking climate action in the workplace for sustainability professionals and other climate-concerned employees. Over 1,000 people downloaded it this year, including executive recruiters, heads of operations, and directors of sustainability, who incorporated it into employee trainings. We launched the Drawdown Capital Coalition.  We brought on Hannah Henkin to manage the Drawdown Capital Coalition. The Capital Coalition is a new program that aims to help funders align their investments with high-impact climate action and ultimately guide billions of dollars of private capital toward strategic, science-based climate solutions. The program will convene and engage a select group of solutions-oriented funders – philanthropists, impact investors, venture capitalists, financial advisors, and others – to advance effective climate funding together. While this is a new initiative – stay tuned for our formal public launch in 2024 – we’ve already had an influence: We examined patterns of climate funding from philanthropy, venture capital, and United States federal spending and identified areas of misalignment with the most urgently needed climate solutions. From conversations with family foundations to impact investors, we guided hundreds of funders to develop portfolios that essentially allocate billions of dollars to key climate solutions. (Additionally, philanthropists and investors have independently leveraged our Solutions Library and the Drawdown Roadmap to inform their funding strategies.) We established early memberships and founding partnerships, including with the Bentley Environmental Foundation, Spectrum Impact, Toniic, Wana Brands Foundation, and others.  We soft-launched the initiative on the main stages at TED Countdown, Climate Week NYC, and the GreenBiz VERGE Conference. We led a Climate Week NYC panel on Smarter Investing & Philanthropy with leaders across the funding space and dove deeper with a public webinar on the same topic. We brought more science to the private sector.  We grew our scientific expertise, rounding out our new science team with seven world-class scientists who will work with our private sector network and build new tools to accelerate solutions: We launched the Drawdown Roadmap, a science-based strategy for accelerating climate solutions. The five-part video series points to which climate actions we should prioritize to make the most of our efforts to stop climate change. The Roadmap for Business video specifically explores how businesses can leverage their clout and employee power to help the world address climate change. We initiated essential research by the science team to inform opportunities for the private sector to scale the most effective solutions, including upcoming sector-specific roadmaps with an emphasis on “emergency brake solutions.” Looking ahead to 2024, we’re excited to continue growing our business and funder networks and help them identify and direct resources toward the most effective solutions to the climate crisis. In coordination with our science team, we’ll bring together our Capital Coalition and Business Coalition members to drive collaboration and leadership on scaling climate solutions with strong co-benefits for nature, human health, well-being, and equity. Finally, we’d like to thank YOU for looking to us as a climate solutions resource! Our work is possible – and impactful – because of all of the climate-concerned corporate leaders, funders, and employees compelled to make a difference. We hope you will consider supporting our work, and if you’ve used any of our resources to take climate action we would love to hear about it. To keep up with our work, check out Project Drawdown’s YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter.
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Feature  |  December 19, 2023
A pre-launch event for Drawdowns Neighborhood: Tri-State video series
Drawdown Stories: 2023 year in review
by Drawdown Stories
After launching in 2022, Drawdown Stories worked this year to more deeply deliver on its core purpose: to “pass the mic” to the climate heroes who often go unheard and, in doing so, invite people everywhere to tap into their unique superpowers to help the world stop climate change. In 2023, we connected with communities worldwide, from the more than two dozen climate heroes featured in this year’s Drawdown’s Neighborhood series to the thousands reached through virtual and in-person engagements to the countless others exposed to our work through partners like The Weather Channel. At Climate Week NYC, in front of an audience of nearly 400 people, Project Drawdown director of storytelling and engagement Matt Scott spoke about why Drawdown Stories does the work that it does: “The center of the work that [we] do is passing the mic to those that often go unheard and centering underrepresented communities and voices. For a long time, I did not connect with the culture of the environmental space. I didn't connect with the stories that were being told. And when you can't connect, when you don't see yourself represented, you don't enter those spaces… More of us need to see ourselves represented in this space… When I think about the culture I want to shape, I want it to be one where people's stories aren't overlooked. Where they're heard, where they're represented, and where people feel like regardless of where they come from, regardless of what they're wearing or how they show up, that they belong.” Within Project Drawdown, the Drawdown Stories program uses storytelling to promote new narratives and new voices. We do this to shift the conversation about climate change from “doom and gloom” to “possibility and opportunity,” and to elevate underrepresented climate heroes who have been traditionally excluded from the climate space. We're excited to share some of the ways we made progress this year. We explored drawdown-aligned careers with nearly 30 underrepresented climate heroes nationwide. The climate solutions short documentary series Drawdown’s Neighborhood continued to build the diverse tapestry of stories celebrated by Project Drawdown. The new stories weaved into the fold center myriad perspectives, including those of Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people, as well as those from various religions, backgrounds, and traditions. The 28 climate heroes included: Doreen Abubakar, Founder and Urban Environmentalist, Community Place-Making Engagement Network (New Haven, CT) Nathaly Agosto Filión, Steering Committee Member, Newark Green Team (Newark, NJ) Jose Alvillar Hinojosa, Statewide Director of Youth Programs, Unidos MN (Twin Cities, MN) Amanda Appelson, Former Marketing Manager, Plantega (Bronx, NY) Melody Arcia, Communications Coordinator, SOUL (Sustaining Our Urban Landscape) (New Orleans, LA) Joshua Benitez, Co-Director, Common Ground Relief (New Orleans, LA) Bob Blake, Owner, Solar Bear; Executive Director, Native Sun Community Power Development (Twin Cities, MN) Travis Charles Banks, Project Manager and Principal, Gravel Road Builders & Construction Services (New Orleans, LA) Anthony Diaz, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Newark Water Coalition (Newark, NJ) Xóchitl Garcia, Environmental Justice Community Organizer (New Haven, CT) Jan Hagerman, Manager of New Brighton ReStore, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (Twin Cities, MN) Jothsna Harris, Founder and Principal, Change Narrative (Twin Cities, MN) Jonshell Johnson, Education Coordinator, Grow Dat Youth Farm (New Orleans, LA) Willie Jones III, Green Infrastructure Technician, Groundwork New Orleans (New Orleans, LA) Schandra Madha, Compost Coordinator, Mobile Market Co-Manager, and Farm Staff, New Haven Ecology Project / Common Ground Urban Farm and High School (New Haven, CT) Emily Mauter, Former Director of Advancement, Repowered (Twin Cities, MN) Hailey Miranda, Youth Team Leader, We Stay / Nos Quedamos (Bronx, NY) Alboury Ndiaye, Sustainability Specialist, Waste Wise Foundation (Twin Cities, MN) Crispin (Cris) Phillips, Former Urban Agriculture Manager, Appetite for Change (Twin Cities, MN) Yesenia Robles Pelayo, Fleet Logistics and Shop Assistant Manager, Hourcar Evie (Twin Cities, MN) Alex Rodriguez, Environmental Justice Specialist, Save the Sound (New Haven, CT) Christian Rodriguez, Community Farm Manager and Organizer, Ironbound Community Corporation (Newark, NJ) Jennifer Seda, Volunteer Program Assistant, Bronx River Alliance (Bronx, NY) Shelley Stiaes, Wildlife Refuge Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (New Orleans, LA) Whitney Terrill, Former Environmental Justice Program Manager, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light (Twin Cities, MN) Ashley Thompson, Resident Services Coordinator, SBP (St. Bernard Project), St. Peter Apartments (New Orleans, LA) Bilal Walker, Chief Executive Officer, Al-Munir LLC (Newark, NJ) Tinice Willams, Executive Director, Feed the Second Line (New Orleans, LA) We connected with thousands of people from around the world through in-person and virtual engagements. This year, we shared our message far and wide, including with FEMA’s Resilient Nations Partnership Network, the Great Northern Festival, the Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey, the National Environmental Justice Conference, the Philadelphia School District, the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, the Climate Museum, the Planet Forward Summit, the Society of Environmental Journalists Conference, Pinterest’s Creator Inclusion Fund, and Ecochallenge.org – through the annual Drawdown Ecochallenge – as well as through a range of events with K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. At Climate Week NYC alone, Drawdown Stories hosted several events in collaboration with the Ingka Group’s Action Speaks Summit, the Nest Climate Campus, and the Marketplace of the Future. We also hosted three Drawdown’s Neighborhood preview screening celebrations in locations where the series was filmed, including in the Twin Cities, New Orleans, and New York City. Through these events, we reached around 500 community members including public and private sector leaders, climate professionals, environmental justice advocates, educators, faith-based organizers, and everyday climate heroes from a wide range of locally and nationally recognized institutions.   In addition, through the Drawdown’s Neighborhood series, we connected viewers with learning and action resources from ChangeX, Climate Generation, Ecochallenge.org, Solutions Journalism Network, and SubjectToClimate, as well as Project Drawdown resources like the Drawdown Labs Job Function Action Guides, Climate Solutions 101 video series, and the Drawdown Solutions Library. We collaborated with major media platforms to “pass the mic” like never before. The Weather Channel’s Pattrn streaming TV channel is on a mission to explore, inform, engage, and revel in the patterns of our amazing planet. In 2023, Pattrn added Drawdown’s Neighborhood, a climate solutions short documentary series presented by Project Drawdown centering underrepresented climate heroes, to its regular lineup. Matt Scott, who created and hosts Drawdown’s Neighborhood, appeared on The Weather Channel to speak with The Pattrn Show’s Stephanie Abrams and Jordan Steele about the significance of the series and the stories it shares. In addition to our collaboration with The Weather Channel, we worked with Newsweek to publish profiles of some of the interviewees featured in Drawdown’s Neighborhood in the outlet’s Planet Heroes series. Now, we are prepared to welcome new stories in 2024. While Drawdown Stories’ storytelling work to date has focused on passing the mic to voices that often go unheard through Drawdown’s Neighborhood, we plan to take things a big step further next year. In 2024, the Global Solutions Diary will serve as a community-generated library of climate solutions stories, inviting everyday people from around the world to join the conversation by submitting a short video showcasing how they are taking action and making a difference. The Global Solutions Diary will include a virtual interactive map featuring many of the submissions and inviting communities to engage in a conversation that has often only highlighted traditional leaders. We encourage anyone interested in staying up-to-date on this exciting new endeavor to subscribe to the Project Drawdown newsletter where you will be among the first to have the opportunity to share your drawdown-aligned story and join us as we pass the mic. Through storytelling, we can build power, shape culture, and change behavior. To do so as widely and equitably as possible, we must diversify the stories we tell, and not only amplify the stories of others but share our own to get our friends, families, and communities on board. In 2024, we look forward to you becoming an even greater part of the stories we tell as we work collectively to stop climate change.  To support this important work elevating the climate solutions stories that too often go unheard, please consider donating to our end-of-year campaign at drawdown.org/donate  
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Video  |  December 15, 2023
State of the Climate: Looking back at 2023 and ahead to 2024
From climate-fueled disasters to the just-completed COP28, climate change  has been much in the news this past year. At the same time, Project Drawdown has doubled down on our efforts to accelerate adoption of proven climate solutions. In this latest in our series of monthly Ignite webinars, Project Drawdown executive director Jonathan Foley reflects on climate solutions action over the past year and shares exciting plans for 2024.  Top Takeaways: The past year brought sobering evidence of climate change – as well as encouraging news from those working to halt it. Many climate solutions are now cheaper than their counterpart carbon-intensive technologies and practices. Dozens of countries around the world have seen a decline in greenhouse gas emissions, and others are poised to join them. Key to further progress is to “see the whole board”: cut emissions across all sectors with a focus first on immediately available, highly impactful, science-based “emergency brake” solutions; deploy carbon removal as needed; and engage multiple “accelerators,” including altering policy, shifting financial and human capital, and changing behavior.
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News  |  December 13, 2023
Various bills of US currency
New report: How personal banking impacts the climate
by Drawdown Labs
Key Report Takeaways:  For the average person in the U.S., personal banking may constitute a large source of indirect greenhouse gas emissions  Every US$1,000 a person has in savings is roughly equivalent to the direct emissions generated by flying from New York to Seattle every year  Eleven of the largest U.S.-based banks lend around 19.4% on average – and as high as 30% – of their portfolios to carbon-intensive industries  Moving from a carbon-intensive bank to a climate-responsible bank could reduce the personal banking emissions of an average U.S.-based person by 76% Switching banks can be a powerful, relatively easy, and affordable climate action In a report published this week, Project Drawdown, in collaboration with Topo Finance, reveals how personal banking decisions in the United States can undermine or accelerate individual climate action. By comparing the estimated financed emissions of a sample of carbon-intensive banks and climate-responsible banks, the report finds that where a person stores their money is one of the most important consumer decisions they can make related to their greenhouse gas emissions.  “Around 95% of U.S.-based adults have money in a checking or savings account which banks then use to finance or invest across the economy,” says Jamie Alexander, who co-authored the report and is the director of Drawdown Labs, Project Drawdown’s private sector testing ground for scaling climate solutions. “It may come as a surprise to many of those people that, depending on where they bank, as much as 30% of their hard-earned money could be funding the carbon-intensive industries most responsible for climate change.”  Using newly available data, the report estimates that across the 11 largest U.S.-based banks, around 19.4% on average and as high as 30% of their portfolios – which includes money from personal banking – were lent to carbon-intensive sectors in 2022, including energy production, utilities, mining, and large-scale manufacturing. According to the report, this means that every US$1,000 a person has in savings is roughly equivalent to the direct emissions generated by flying from New York to Seattle every year. By switching to a climate-responsible bank, however, the annual banking emissions for the average U.S.-based adult could be reduced by 76%.
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