Video | January 24, 2023
How to make your job a climate job
Would you like your work to help alleviate the climate crisis, even though “climate” is not part of your current position description?
In this webinar, sponsored by Climate People, presenters offer actionable advice on how you can reduce the threat of climate change, wherever you are and whatever you do for a living.
Aiyana Bodi, senior associate, Drawdown Labs
Adam Braun, co-founder and CEO of Climate Cluib
Ben Lai, senior software developer and employee Green Team lead at LinkedIn
Kristy Drutman, co-founder of Browngirl Green
If you are a journalist and would like to republish Project Drawdown content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feature | March 21, 2023
Women leading climate action through agriculture, education, and health
On March 9, Project Drawdown’s Drawdown Lift program hosted a lively discussion with the Clean Cooking Alliance about how women are leading on climate action and climate justice and implementing solutions that strengthen adaptation, boost human well-being, and mitigate future emissions. As a continuation of International Women’s Day, we embraced equity, focusing on two of the most defining challenges of our time—climate change and poverty. Watch the recording here. Advancing gender equality is central to ensuring that our global community thrives and addresses the climate crisis. Women are problem solvers and central to guiding the world to reach drawdown, boosting resilience, and creating systemic change. Women must be represented in all levels of decision-making, and our agency—as leaders, activists, educators, and entrepreneurs—should not be underestimated. We also acknowledge our allies who continue to ensure that we have a seat at the table and that our voices are heard and valued. Moderated by Wanjira Mathai, community builder and managing director of Africa & Global Partnerships with World Resources Institute, the event featured four amazing panelists who shared wisdom and tangible examples from the fields of agriculture, education, clean cooking, health, and climate justice. Panelists included: Makandi Laiboni, leader of the digital team for One Acre Fund’s Kenya’s program, Tupande, which designs and implements the organization’s digital vision and strategy directly for smallholder farmers. Natasha Lwanda, the former national chairperson of the CAMFED Association, who uses her intimate experience of poverty and exclusion to support vulnerable young women and girls to become influential change-makers in Zambia. Patience Alifo, the co-founder of Econexus Ventures Limited, a Ghanaian-based biotechnology social enterprise commercializing sustainable biofuel and waste-to-energy production in Africa. Sohanur Rahman, the chief executive of a youth-led organization called Protiki Jubi Sangsad, or Bangladesh Model Youth Parliament, who also coordinates the largest youth network, YouthNet for Climate Justice, in Bangladesh. Each panelist had a different reason for why they were inspired to do the work they do, including experiencing extreme weather events and gender inequality firsthand, identifying major gender gaps that could lead to a pathway to prosperity, or advancing their personal commitments to give back to the community. We know that climate change threatens decades of progress and exacerbates pre-existing inequities—particularly in countries most vulnerable to climate change who have contributed the least to it—but solutions are at hand. Building off Project Drawdown’s Climate-Poverty Connections report, panelists spoke to several of the 28 mitigation solutions that also substantially contribute to boosting human well-being, strengthening resilience, and alleviating poverty.
News | March 13, 2023
How the gaming industry can tackle the climate crisis
The private sector has a big role to play in implementing climate action. The solutions we need are not the flashy fixes we often see portrayed as panaceas: While things like offsets and carbon removal technologies play a role, they can be scientifically unsound and untimely. Instead, the private sector must focus on real, strategic, and systemic impact that goes beyond reducing their own emissions. The Drawdown-Aligned Business Framework provides valuable guidance for doing just that, bringing to light the political, social, and human capital businesses have to help the world achieve zero emissions. And now a good thing has gotten even better: With the help of business partner Unity, a real-time gaming development platform, and a working group of key industry experts, we’re proud to release Project Drawdown’s first industry-specific resource for climate action: A Drawdown-Aligned Framework for the Gaming Industry.
Profile | February 23, 2023
Drawdown Science profile: James Gerber
This article is the third in a series introducing the members of Project Drawdown’s new science team. James Gerber is a data scientist with expertise in agriculture, impacts of land use on the environment, modeling of crop yields, and ocean wave energy. He uses various analytic techniques to assess the effect of climate mitigation solutions in the land use sector. As a researcher with the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, James studied connections among agriculture, ecosystems, climate, and food security. He was a lead author for the Sixth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has consulted on a wide variety of projects for nongovernmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, The Packard Foundation, and The World Bank. Before he started researching land use, James worked on optimizing conversion of wave energy to electricity. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Here, James explains how he got from wave physics to climate change mitigation, trash talks American drivers, avoids sharing his favorite drawdown solution, and nails the answer to the most important question ever asked. Q: When people ask what you do with Project Drawdown, what do you tell them? A: I haven't been here very long, so my answer is based on what I think I’ll be doing and why I was so excited to get this job. Project Drawdown is really focused on making solutions happen. For the last 13 years I’ve been in a somewhat academic world defining what problems are in the land use sector, particularly with agriculture, and showing how big the impact is and looking at what some solutions could look like and what sectors and regions they could be most effective in, but those were not necessarily actionable. What I’m excited about at Project Drawdown is taking the next step and helping to formulate those solutions in a way they can really easily be implemented to achieve climate and other goals at the same time. Q: What do you see as the biggest obstacles to solving climate change? A: In some ways people don’t realize how doable it is. There are so many things out there that are win-wins and will pay for themselves and have all sorts of good co-benefits, and people aren’t aware of that. So a lack of knowledge, and maybe a little bit of pessimism that goes along with that. Also, there are often vested interests in keeping things the way they are. There’s no lobby for industries that don't yet exist, but there are lobbies for things that society might want to sunset. So there’s this knowledge problem and there’s this momentum problem as well. Q: What’s your superpower? A: I feel like I'm a pretty good programmer, in that I think I come up with clever algorithms to solve data analysis issues. Q: What is the best (or worst) experience you’ve had that involved a bicycle? A: I did my junior year in southern France. I was super poor, so I took a bicycle out of the trash and started biking around. I was pulling on the handlebars and peddling, and all of a sudden one handlebar fell off. I turned into traffic next to me and fell over—I thought I was going to be squashed. In America I might have been, but French drivers are really good. This guy slammed on his brakes and did not hit me. Q: What was the subject of your Ph.D. dissertation? A: Acoustic propagation through internal waves in the ocean. Q: And how did you get from there to here? A: I did my postdoctoral work on wave theory in Paris, then we moved for my wife’s job to Princeton. I was offered a postdoctoral position at Princeton in Environmental Science, and I was offered a job at a small startup doing ocean wave energy. I felt the world did not need another postdoc but I could make a difference with wave energy so I took the job in renewable energy. Later, when we moved to Minnesota, I wanted to stay in an environmental field so I took a position at the Institute on the Environment at the intersection of environment and agriculture. Moving to Project Drawdown is a logical next step in the trajectory of my career from siloed technical work to impact-focused and policy-relevant. I really think I can have an impact here. Q: What’s your favorite Drawdown Solution and why? A: It’s hard to choose a favorite. It’s like asking which is my favorite child. Can I get back to you on that one? Q: Speaking of favorite children, any advice for parenting young adults? A: Find a balance between having the current and future versions of your child angry at you. Q: What gives you hope? A: The fact that even though there is pessimism out there, we’re really making progress as a society and I think the word is getting out there. There are all sorts of examples of entities that have decreased their carbon footprint while improving quality of life. There are so many technologies that are coming online right now. Miracles are not needed; we just need to implement what we have. Together, these give me hope. Q: What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything? A: 42. Come on.